THE Labour Party has come under fire from political rivals after it emerged that they have not yet selected election candidates in the Portsmouth region.
The party has not yet selected general election candidates for Portsmouth North, Gosport, Fareham or Havant – with Portsmouth South’s Stephen Morgan MP being the only candidate announced thus far.
Meanwhile, the Green Party has also not chosen candidates for Portsmouth North, Portsmouth South or Havant.
This has been met with fierce criticism from the Conservatives, who say the preparations for an election should have been made much further in advance.
Labour members say they are in the final stages of selecting candidates and have had options in place for the past few months.
Portsmouth South hopeful Donna Jones claims her left-wing counterparts ‘are not prepared’ for an election battle.
She said: ‘I don’t think the Labour Party is ready.
‘They’ve been trying to fight against an election and have been wrestling with this internally.
‘When I was selected in May this year, I assumed I was preparing for a 2022 election; it became apparent over the summer that a general election was imminent.’
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage is surprised that the Labour Party has not yet selected candidates.
‘Considering that Labour has been calling for a General Election for two years, it is surprising that they are not more organised,’ she said.
‘Their candidates should already be out explaining to local people why, when our area voted overwhelmingly to leave the EU, their party policy is dither and delay.’
Mark Smith, chairman of the Gosport Labour Party, says a number of members were keen to represent the party in Gosport.
‘We've had prospective candidates in place for most of the year, we're ready for the election and have well-understood processes for final candidate selection,’ he said.
‘I'm glad to say that there were a number of members interested in standing in Gosport.
‘There are now two being put to the regional panel, which meets today and Friday.’
Havant Labour Party says its candidate will also be decided this week.