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Labour not imposing candidates in Wales, says Kinnock

02 Jun 2024 3 minute read
Aberavon MP Stephen Kinnock.

A Labour MP has defended his party’s decision to parachute candidates into safe seats in Wales, insisting there was local input in the decision.

Concerns have been raised after think tank chief and former Labour aide Torsten Bell and Alex Barros-Curtis, executive director of legal affairs for the party, were selected as candidates for Swansea West and Cardiff West on Friday.

Former Labour MP for Cynon Valley Beth Winter accused the party of “imposing candidates” following the expedited process, which she branded an “insult to Wales”.

Mr Bell appears to have no connection to the country, while Mr Barros-Curtis went to school in North Wales.

Input

But Stephen Kinnock, who is standing for Labour in Aberfan Maesteg, has insisted the decision was taken with the local party’s input.

He told the BBC’s Nick Servini on Politics Wales: “There were constituency Labour Party members on both of those selection committees.

“There was input from the local party membership in both cases.

“I know Torsten well, he is one of the smartest people on the scene in terms of understanding where we are on the public finances, in terms of developing policy that is going to take our country forward. He’s an incredibly talented person.”

Mr Kinnock did not answer when questioned if Mr Bell had ever been to Swansea.

Committed

However, he added: “What Torsten will do is work his socks off to show that he is completely committed to the people of Swansea West.

“He will build trust and a strong relationship with his party members, as I would like to think that I have done, and in the end, people want a name, an MP that delivers they want an MP who is a strong national voice and an active local campaigner, and that is what both Torsten and Alex will be.”

Speaking with the PA news agency on Saturday, Rhun ap Iorwerth, the leader of Plaid Cymru, said the decision to “parachute” in members was a “worrying sign about what Labour’s attitude in government would be towards Wales”.

He said: “We’re seeing a slashing on the number of MPs in Wales from 40 to 32.

“If among those 32 you have parachuted in candidates who are not there because they want to play any part in Welsh politics, that’s a dilution of the Welsh voice.

“It’s insulting to the Labour Party members themselves in those constituencies, but it’s also insulting to Wales to do this at the last minute.”

When the candidates were announced a Welsh Labour spokesperson said: “We’re pleased that despite the expedited process, the panels were formed by representatives from the Welsh Executive Committee and local members.

“Torsten brings a wealth of experience in economic policy and tackling child poverty. He will be real champion for Swansea West.

“Alex has extensive legal experience and is a campaigner for social justice issues.”


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Mr Williams
Mr Williams
21 hours ago

Can the local party members confirm this?

Will Barrett Soliz
Will Barrett Soliz
19 hours ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

As a Cardiff West LP member I wrote immediately to the Constituency Secretary on hearing Kevin Brennans resignations to ask what involvement or procedure was. I was sent an application link. No mention of who was being nominated. NO CONSULTATION. So Stephen Kinnock should not be whitewashing this.

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
17 hours ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

They have and they weren’t consulted, Cardiff West r so incensed they contacted the media to expose the wrongdoing.

Glen
Glen
21 hours ago

Kinnock is a fellow member of Labour’s ‘parachute regiment’.

Annibendod
Annibendod
19 hours ago
Reply to  Glen

Indeed he was. He was not the choice of his constituency members. Doughty also in the media denying Labour shenanigans.

There’s a simple answer to this proplem Labour – don’t impose candidates with no connection on your local constituencies.

Frank
Frank
20 hours ago

Isn’t this guy the son of a former Labour leader who was almost 100% guaranteed to win an election but mysteriously lost at the eleventh hour only to land himself a lucrative job as European Commissioner instead earning three times the salary of a Prime Minister? Talk about jobs for the boys!!! All parties are eating and drinking from the same trough. What you see during PM question time is all a put-on show to kid the general public! After the show is over they all gather in the many heavily taxpayer subsidised bars within the House sipping claret and… Read more »

Last edited 20 hours ago by Frank
Annibendod
Annibendod
19 hours ago
Reply to  Frank

His father is the epitome of a Dic Sion Dafydd who campaigned against democracy for this Nation and insulted our history with a gross slur. Jr is a career politician and ambitious – neither of which qualifies him to be the sort of MP Wales or indeed Aberafan needs.

Karl
Karl
17 hours ago
Reply to  Frank

Kinnock stood no chance of winning an election. The press Hate on him was wild. Often because of his nationality. Nit that I think much of that family. Stephen Kinnoxk often comes across as someone lacking a backbone.

Maesglas
Maesglas
20 hours ago

Torsten Bell, like Kinnock, have no interest in Wales other than gaining safe seats. Kinnock has hardly mentioned Wales during his 10 years as MP for Aberavon other than to say how awful Welsh Independence would be. He doesn’t even speak a word of Welsh yet boasts of his ability to speak 5 other languages.

Annibendod
Annibendod
19 hours ago
Reply to  Maesglas

His father is a notorious self-hating Welshman who showed contempt towards Wales. What attitudes were inculcated in young Stephen Kinnock?

CapM
CapM
20 hours ago

Labour have even produced a song and dance to accompany their programme of parachuting loyalists into safe Labour seats in Cymru.
I think it’s Labour’s National Executive Committee doing the dance.
Catchy tune at least.

Huw Sgwlows
Huw Sgwlows
18 hours ago

I was professionally involved in the media for many years and therefore expressed no particular political views. This caused me no difficulty, because I have no strongly held positions. However after the years of Tory sleaze and entitlement and Boris and Truss, I was looking forward to casting my vote for Labour as a kind of minuscule protest. Oh dear. I’m seeing that Labour has not changed its ways at all. I am incensed that the election of the Welsh First Minister was clearly skewed by the Union Bosses in London. I am a great believer in Unions having been… Read more »

Brychan
Brychan
18 hours ago

This from Stephen Kinnock. The Labour candidate who told his own selection meeting in Aberafan that his kids went to a local comprehensive but that turned out to be fee paying Atlantic College. Also that he paid tax in Britain when the Danish tax office investigating his wife confirmed his own income tax was paid in Switzerland. Pull the other one Stephen.

Malcolm Jones
Malcolm Jones
17 hours ago

Neal kinnock most of his political life he was against the house of Lord’s saying it’s not democratic and what is he now say no more.And is son is a Chip of the old block

Valley girl
Valley girl
17 hours ago

Mr Kinnock; you would say no – because you were parachuted in yourself – remember?

Last edited 17 hours ago by Valley girl
Valley girl
Valley girl
17 hours ago

Doesn Mr Kinnock live in Denmark? The Welsh are real pushovers to put up with all the manipulation from Starmer.

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
17 hours ago

Shame but I would not believe a word coming out of the mouth of Kinnock. Its jobs for the boys in Labour and to hell with the constuency members and the electorate.

Jeremy Turner
Jeremy Turner
15 hours ago

But Kinnock would argue thus: wasn’t he himself imposed on the constituency?

Neilyn
Neilyn
15 hours ago

Kinnockio?

richard
richard
12 hours ago

All these comments are spot on. But the real tragedy is that there is no alternative. None that has any chance of real success. Somebody will reply to say that “Cymru am byth” or some variant thereof is the answer. But it is not. Unionism is the most potent force in Welsh politics. Often hidden, usually tacit, and always cunning. The Labour Party is, and always will be, British. And it will sweep the board in a month’s time.

Welshman28
Welshman28
6 hours ago

But Stephen Kinnock, who is standing for Labour in Aberfan Maesteg, has insisted the decision was taken with the local party’s input. Funny how we are not hearing a word from these members of local party. except SILENCE. Kinnock attitude on BBC was disgraceful very patronising and of course he knows best NOT local people again I will say Labour in Wales and in Central office are now a dictatorship

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
2 hours ago

Labour not imposing lol. Oh you are so funny Stephen Kinnock, a man who himself was imposed by Labour on Port Talbot seeing his residence is Denmark & England. If those constituencies offices in Cardiff & Swansea are saying they had no idea their preferred candidate was sidelined and central office was parachuting in two English Labour stooges, can be defined as imposition. Like father like son. Treacherous to his rotten core.

Last edited 2 hours ago by Y Cymro

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