The executive committee of the Wakefield Constituency Labour Party (CLP) has resigned en masse amid a row over the selection of the candidate for the forthcoming by-election.
Sky News understands the CLP executive met on Thursday and it was passed that every member would resign.
The Labour Party is supposed to be preparing to fight the Conservatives at the by-election in Wakefield, called after former Tory MP Imran Ahman Khan formally resigned his seat following his conviction for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy.
But the party has instead been fighting among themselves over who will be selected as the Labour candidate.
A standoff between the national and local party has seen three local candidates kept off the shortlist – including the deputy council leader Jack Hemingway.
Neither of the final two candidates – Kate Dearden and Simon Lightwood – are from Wakefield.
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This has sparked anger on the ground and rumours were swirling yesterday that the secretary of the local party and the executive officers were on the brink of resigning in protest.
On Friday, a member of the executive at the meeting confirmed all members of the CLP had resigned.
“Safe to say that local members feel completely let down that the rule book has not been followed and we have not been given the opportunity to select our candidate,” they said.
“The Labour Party haven’t learnt and they’re not listening. The rule book has just been through the window and I’m furious. People are hitting the ceiling about it.
“That’s everyone gone. Imagine the party will have to come in. I’ve never seen anything like it before.”
When deputy council leader Mr Hemingway found out he was out of the running he said in a statement that although he was disappointed “the most important thing right now is winning Wakefield back for Labour”.
“The party is a movement bigger than any one individual,” he said.
However, a Labour source in Wakefield told Sky News on Thursday: “There is immense anger among the local membership at what they perceive as a stitch-up.”
The row could be a big problem for Labour as the party attempts to use all its resources at the Wakefield by-election to have a chance of taking it back from the Conservatives.
Without their ground troops the local campaign will be severely diminished as will their chances of winning this crucial red wall battle.