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Shrewsbury Labour candidate Laura Davies loses no confidence vote

By Dominic Robertson | Shrewsbury | Politics | Published:

Labour's parliamentary candidate for Shrewsbury, Dr Laura Davies, is facing de-selection after her local party passed a vote of no confidence in her.

Dr Laura Davies

Dr Davies, who has contested the Shrewsbury & Atcham seat for the Labour Party in last two general elections now faces a decision over whether to step down from her position, or face being potentially removed by the party's National Executive Committee.

It is understood that around 130 members of Shrewsbury & Atcham Constituency Labour Party attended a special meeting on Wednesday night to discuss the vote of no-confidence, which had been put forward by the group's secretary Catriona Graham.

The numbers of the vote have not been released but a statement from the official Shrewsbury Labour Twitter account described a "decisive majority".

The statement also rejected suggestions that the vote had been carried by members who had recently joined the party.

It said: "At a packed special meeting of the Shrewsbury & Atcham Constituency Labour Party on Wednesday evening, a decisive majority of members passed a motion of no confidence in Dr Davies, our parliamentary candidate, and asked her to step down.

"The members who attended represented a complete cross section of members, including long standing and newer members and cast their votes after a full discussion.

Hospitals

"It is therefore incorrect to describe this as the action of a small group. Shrewsbury & Atcham needs a Labour MP and the constituency party is intent on being united and fighting fit for the next general election."

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It had been suggested prior to the meeting that the reasoning behind the motion had been Dr Davies' departure from the Labour policy on the future of the county's major hospitals.

She had suggested the creation of one super hospital between Shrewsbury and Telford to serve both communities. The CLP has agreed a position where both Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital Telford both retain 24 hour A&E departments and receive substantial investment.

Neither position is the option being put forward by the county's health bosses, who have £312m to reorganise the hospitals based on RSH hosting Shropshire's only A&E, along with consultant led women and children's services moving from Telford to the Shrewsbury site. They are currently waiting final approval for the plan from the Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who is reviewing the proposal at the request of Telford & Wrekin Council.

However, Ms Graham said that the vote had not been just been about health policy.

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Unity

She said: "I think for any political party it is very important that as members we have a clear sense of where we are going on local issues more generally and that we are able to work harmoniously together in pursuit of having a Labour MP.

"I think unity across the board on issues and a good relationship with our candidate is a high priority to achieve that."

Ms Graham also rejected the suggestions that it had been a small faction driving the move and added that those on the losing side of the vote should think about party unity.

She said: "It would be a misunderstanding of the situation to suggest there was a small group of people who had an agenda towards our candidate."

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