Tap above to watch video report by Simon Harris
Labour MP Sam Tarry has demanded further details about the vote which led to his deselection as a candidate, calling it a “manufactured political circus”. The former frontbencher said he was “utterly crestfallen” at the result in Ilford South on Monday night which saw him fail to see off a challenge from the leader of Redbridge Council, Jas Athwal. He said he was “extremely concerned” by the result, saying it did not reflect the feeling his campaign team got or the “meticulous data” they gathered. “I am taking some time to consider what’s next, but in order to be assured of the integrity of the result I am asking the party to share with me the full information of who cast electronic votes, by what method, and when they were cast,” he said.
After weeks of campaigning in the safe Labour seat of Ilford South, Tarry failed to see off a challenge from the leader of Redbridge council, Jas Athwal. Mr Athwal will go forward as the party’s candidate at the next general election. Mr Tarry was sacked from Labour’s front bench after giving broadcast interviews from an RMT picket line earlier this year. The vote came after his local constituency branches opted to trigger full reselection proceedings. While candidate selection can be a fraught issue internally within Labour, it is relatively rare for a sitting MP to be de-selected by their local party.
Mr Tarry had described himself as “very humbled and excited” ahead of Monday’s hustings. He told the LabourList website after his defeat: “I’m incredibly disappointed in this result, mostly for all my committed volunteers and the wonderful people of Ilford South. “I intend to issue a further statement tomorrow on the process and outcome.” Wes Streeting, the party’s shadow health secretary and MP for Ilford North, was among the first to offer congratulations to Jas Athwal. He praised his “resounding victory”, which he said reflects his lifelong commitment to this borough and “his outstanding leadership for Redbridge Labour”. “Jas will be a superb representative for Ilford South. His is an Ilford story – the boy who came from the Punjab and built an education, successful businesses, and a wonderful family here. “He’s led Redbridge Labour to three unprecedented victories because he’s a local resident who fights as hard for our community as he would for his own family. “I look forward to working with Jas as Ilford South’s next Labour MP.”
Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know