Sam Tarry faces relegation in Ilford South constituency | Labor

Former shadow minister Sam Tarry is facing an attempt to oust him as an MP, amid deep tensions in the Ilford South constituency.

Tarry, a former senior union official who helped organize Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership campaign, will face the leader of Redbridge Council, Jas Athwal, at a hustings on Monday night in front of members who could vote to oust him, after each local ward in his local branch. the constituency voted to trigger the full re-election procedure.

The result of the vote is expected after the hustings, which begin at 7:00 p.m. If attempts to reject Tarry succeed, he will be the first Labor MP is to be voted out in more than a decade.

Both sides have informed that they are confident of victory. Tarry’s allies say his campaign was boosted when he stayed sacked as shadow transport minister in July after joining a picket line in support of RMT workers. Labor said the dismissal was due to remarks in interviews he conducted on the picket lines about wage inflation, which were not party policy.

Athwal, a close ally of several Labor MPs including Wes Streeting, was favorite for election to the Ilford South seat in 2019 but was suspended over an allegation of sexual harassment and suspended from the party shortly before the selection battle.

But it was Athwal cleared of errors and argued that the complaint was malicious and his suspension was politically motivated. Tarry then won the selection battle and went on to be elected by a majority of more than 24,000.

Tarry, who is in a relationship with Labor deputy leader Angela Rayner, said he had signed up around 300 volunteers to work for his re-election and said he would run a positive campaign based on his record.

But he has also reported serious concerns about the conduct of the campaign against him to Labor headquarters, claiming he has discovered “ghost members” who have left the constituency or even died have been contacted.

“Members know that in my time as an MP I have delivered far more than my predecessor ever did: they see how I take on government, they are proud of me, proud of my stance on strikes and proud of my service as a shadow minister, ” he said.

“This has been a really detailed campaign on the local and international issues that our residents really care about in the most diverse constituency in the country. They see my very clear track record in Parliament, including new investment in the local hospital for radiology and pediatrics.”

Athwal’s allies said he was extremely confident their campaign was organized enough to unseat Tarry. The council leader has been backed by the unions Unison, Usdaw and the Community.

Streeting, the shadow health secretary, whose Ilford North seat borders Tarry’s, has been an outspoken supporter of Athwal, writing to locals that Athwal “understands our community because he lives here” and saying he has been “horrified at trials from Jas’ opponents to smear Jas, the Labor council and members of the local Labor party”. The letter asks members to “draw a line under the past and move on”.

Speaking to The Guardian, Athwal said: “Today is about the future and electing an MP who is local, vocal and visible and who does not use Westminster to raise their own profile but to make a difference for our society. “

He said his campaign drew on his achievements as council leader, including on enforcement centers and bringing Queen Mary’s medical school to the city centre. Like Tarry, he also emphasized his international priorities, including driving a van full of supplies to Ukraine and raising £150,000 for flood victims in Pakistan.

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