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'Devastated': Laura Davies reacts to deslection as Labour's Shrewsbury candidate

By Dominic Robertson | Shrewsbury | General Election 2019 | Published:

Labour's former Shrewsbury candidate for the general election has said she is "devastated" at being deselected – just 37 days from polling day.

Dr Laura Davies with Shrewsbury Labour Party campaigners in 2017

Dr Laura Davies, who has contested the Shrewsbury & Atcham seat at the last two general elections, was removed as the Labour Party's candidate for the seat late on Monday evening, after an interview with the party's national executive committee (NEC).

The move brings a conclusion to an ongoing battle in the Shrewsbury & Atcham Constituency Labour Party over Dr Davies's position.

She lost a vote of no-confidence in June although at the time the NEC said it was for the local party and the candidate to resolve the matter.

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Now Dr Davies has spoken of her disappointment at what she described as bruising few months, saying the criticism had felt "entirely personal" and had at times felt like bullying.

She said: "I am devastated. I have been here since 2014 when I was first selected here. I have put a great deal of effort in, had good results and was ready to win it this time around.

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"If Labour are going to form a majority, seats like Shrewsbury have to be won and throwing them away like this is a shame and I feel very bad for the activists and local councillors who have been phenomenally supportive.

"I am sorry I am not able to deliver them the Labour MP the town deserves."

The official Shrewsbury Labour statement on the decision said Dr Davies had failed to "work with and engage with members".

She also came under fire for deviating from local party policy that both Shrewsbury and Telford's hospitals should retain their A&Es.

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Dr Davies had instead suggested building a new super hospital between the two towns.

Dr Davies said she "entirely refuted" the suggestion that she had failed to work with members, and said that the atmosphere in recent months had been "factional" and "toxic".

The party is now in the process of selecting a new candidate from an all-woman shortlist, with applications closing at lunchtime on Wednesday.

Dr Davies, who is currently working as a GP in the county and previously worked at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, said she would not be leaving the party after her experience.

She said: "I joined the Labour Party when I was 15 and I am absolutely committed to it."

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