Labour's Jarrow General Election candidate says 'it is time to move on' after criticism from party members

A Parliamentary candidate whose selection has attracted criticism from within her own party has said it is time to move on from the row.

Saturday, 16th November 2019, 8:00 am
Updated Monday, 18th November 2019, 10:53 am

Dozens members of the Jarrow Constituency Labour Party (CLP) have complained to national bosses over the selection of Kate Osborne – who shared a social media image of former Prime Minister Theresa May with a gun pointed at her – as the party’s candidate for December 12’s General Election.

Ms Osborne, 53, has apologised for her actions, which date back to the 2017 election when Mrs May was PM, and now hopes to concentrate on her campaign to defend the staunchly Labour seat.

Speaking to the Gazette shortly before the deadline for candidate nominations, she said: “I do not have anything further to say about it. I have made an apology, I should not have done what I did and I would like to move on.

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“The nominations are going to close in 10 minutes and I am the candidate for Labour. That will not be changing.”

Ms Osborne, a North Tyneside councillor, said she did not encounter any opposition to her selection when she met dozens of local Labour Party members on a “positive night” at Jarrow’s Primrose Community Centre on Wednesday.

She added: “I invited Labour Party Jarrow members to come and meet me. There was a really good turn out and nobody who spoke to me raised any concern about my candidacy when that was their opportunity to do so.”

The letter of complaint, signed by 37 of the Jarrow CLP members, urged general secretary Jennie Formby to rethink the selection of Ms Osborne for the snap election.

Kate Osborne, wearing a black top and lighter jacket, meets Labour Party members at Jarrow's Primrose Community Centre on Wednesday night.

They felt “an apology is not enough” and that she had been “imposed on our constituency”.

Ms Osborne is aiming to defending former Labour MP Stephen Hepburn’s 17,263 majority.

Candidates standing for Jarrow has now been announced. They are:

:: Mark Anthony Conway – Social Democratic Party

:: James Paul Milne – Green Party

:: Richard Leslie Monaghan – Brexit Party

:: Nick Oliver – The Conservative Party Candidate

:: Kate Osborne – Labour Party

:: John Andrew Robertson – Independent

:: Shaun William Sadler – Independent

:: David Wilkinson – Liberal Democrats