Hopes for no more de-selection

HIGH HOPES: Coun David Sheard is backing Coun O'Donovan (d526e439)

HIGH HOPES: Coun David Sheard is backing Coun O'Donovan (d526e439)

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The leader of Kirklees Labour Group said he hopes no more sitting councillors will be de-selected for next year’s local elections.

Dewsbury West councillor Darren O’Donovan last month failed an interview process and is facing de-selection by his own party for the elections.

This was followed last week by the de-selection of Greenhead councillor Judith Hughes.

But Coun David Sheard, who is yet to be re-selected himself, said he doesn’t expect any more casualties within his party in the run-up to next year’s local elections. Labour will be defending 10 of the 23 seats up for grabs.

“Personally, I hope no other sitting councillors are de-selected by their branches,” he said. “(But) all branches make their own decisions and I have no remit or intention to interfere with their decisions.”

Despite wrestling the seat off the Liberal Democrats three years ago, Coun O’Donovan is currently appealing against a decision from a three-person selection panel that had not placed him on the short list for local members to re-select their candidate.

Coun Sheard said this meant the party branch had not technically made any de-selection of Coun O’Donovan.

He said: “Darren appealing against the panel’s decision, not against any de-selection.”

The appeal hearing is expected to continue next week.