Local Labour members urge party to reconsider over controversial Jarrow candidate

Local Labour members have complained to their national party about a controversial candidate who they claim has been “imposed on our constituency”.

Local Labour members have complained about the selection of Kate Osborne as the party's Jarrow candidate.
Local Labour members have complained about the selection of Kate Osborne as the party's Jarrow candidate.

Kate Osborne – who shared a social media image of former Prime Minister Theresa May with a gun to her head – has been chosen as the party’s candidate in Jarrow on December 12.

Now it has emerged that 37 members of the Jarrow Constituency Labour Group have signed a letter to party general secretary Jennie Formby complaining about Ms Osborne’s selection.

The letter urges the party to reconsider the decision on the grounds that “an apology is not enough”.

It states: “As we understand from the media, Kate has apologised for her post.

“However, sometimes an apology is not enough, In our view the judgement demonstrated by posting such an appalling and unacceptable image in the first place should be incompatible with Labour candidature.”

A statement from the authors added: “We are making very clear, the apology is not good enough.

“Endorsing Kate sends the wrong message to our community and the country.

“This behaviour is not acceptable ever, we will not endorse it or accept it. It’s insensitive and shows bad judgement. The Labour Party should listen to members and reconsider. We are appalled.”

A Labour source would not add to an earlier comment, which said: “The panel’s decision was unanimous and the panel included CLP and regional representation.

“Kate has worked for Royal Mail for 25 years, she’s a councillor, and a self-identifying LGBT+ woman and an active campaigner for LGBT+ rights.

“She deleted the parody image of Theresa May two years ago when concerns about it were first raised and has fully apologised.”

Coun Osborne, who serves on North Tyneside Council, said herself: “I shared an image on social media of a film parody poster making light of Theresa May’s forced and robotic statements about her 'strong and stable government' in the run up to the 2017 General Election.

“I unreservedly apologise for having shared this image.

“As a woman, I am extremely concerned about the abuse and threats that women in politics face and if elected I will work with colleagues to challenge misogyny, hate and division in politics and beyond.”