Wales politics

Cynon Valley MP Ann Clwyd should face re-selection, Labour says

Ann Clwyd Image copyright (C) British Broadcasting Corporation
Image caption Ann Clwyd won the Cynon Valley seat for Labour in a by-election 30 years ago

Labour leaders have confirmed that Cynon Valley MP Ann Clwyd should face re-selection after reconsidering her decision to step down at the election.

The 77-year-old MP announced in February she would retire after more than 30 years in Parliament but said in September she had changed her mind.

Welsh Labour said the selection of a candidate for 2015 had already begun.

Labour's national executive committee decided on Tuesday to press ahead with the process.

Shortlist row

Ms Clwyd said in September that local voters had asked her to reconsider her retirement, and said she had received a "very enthusiastic" reaction to her change of heart.

It followed a row over Labour's decision to use an all-women shortlist to select her successor, which has been strongly opposed by the local party.

Ms Clwyd, a former Labour shadow minister, has been outspoken on the state of the NHS following failings in the care of her husband at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, in the days leading up to his death.

David Cameron appointed her as an adviser on how hospitals in England should handle complaints.

Trigger ballot

Ms Clwyd has represented the Cynon Valley since winning a by-election there in 1984.

Under Labour party rules a serving MP can be re-selected by a "trigger ballot" if more than 50% of local party members agree to back them.

However, sources within the Labour party questioned whether there was sufficient time to organise a trigger ballot in Cynon Valley before the 2015 general election in May.

A Welsh Labour spokesperson said: "Under established procedures a full selection takes place where a sitting MP announces their intention to stand down. The selection will begin later this month."

Labour's national executive committee decided on Tuesday to ratify a sub-committee's decision to press ahead with a full candidate selection process.

Ms Clwyd has been asked to comment.

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