One of Labour's "comulsory woman" candidates has been suspended by the party following allegations of benefit fraud.
Crook South candidate Rose Seabury has been suspended by the Labour Party pending an investigation into alleged benefit fraud. Cllr Seabury was imposed as a "compulsory woman" candidate for the Durham County Unitary Council elections on 1st May. As a result, long-serving Labour councillor Eddie Murphy resigned from the party to stand as an Independent in the South ward. He blamed local MP Hilary Armstrong for having "too much influence" over the selection of candidates.
Cllr Seabury's suspension came too late for her to be removed from the ballot paper. Labour Party members in the ward will still be expected to vote for her, in the hope that after the election she will be reinstated. This is the reverse of the situation in Easington, where the whole membership of the local party has been suspended but was still urged by regional party officials to canvass for the elections.
To add another twist, Cllr Murphy is currently chairman of Wear Valley District Council, and Cllr Seabury is vice chairman and would normally expect to become chairman at the council AGM in May.
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