THE fallout over Labour’s decision to ‘parachute’ a candidate into Warrington North continues to rumble on.

Charlotte Nichols, aged 28, will battle for the seat in the general election on December 12.

The London-based activist is Jewish, a trade union officer and a socialist.

But she has confirmed she is familiar with the area having grown up in the north west before moving to London for work.

Former Labour borough councillor Andy Heaver, who quit the party earlier this year, will be standing as an independent in the parish and borough all-out elections in Warrington next May.

But he criticised the selection of Ms Nichols.

He said: “How disappointing it is to see the Labour Party treating Warrington as merely a staging post to advance the careers of Corbyn’s cronies.

“You have to ask how could Labour not find a sufficiently talented local candidate to represent the people of Warrington in Parliament, instead of parachuting in someone with no connections or understanding of our town whatsoever?

Warrington Guardian:

Andy Heaver

“Once again, Labour are taking places like Warrington for granted, treating voters as fools and it’s about time people saw through it.

“As for the Tories, well they’re the ones that got the country in this mess – they certainly shouldn’t be rewarded.”

Furthermore, a Labour member in Warrington North has written to Jennie Formby, the party’s general secretary, to inform her they have ‘no choice’ but to cancel their Labour membership and vote for another party in the election.

In the letter, seen by the Warrington Guardian, they said: “As a resident of Warrington (for 27 years, since I was four years old) I feel incredibly strongly about the recent selection of Charlotte Nichols to stand as Labour MP in the Warrington North constituency.

“I am aware that there were numerous female local candidates who were being considered to stand for Warrington North.

“So I am absolutely disgusted that through sheer nepotism Charlotte has been given this ‘safe’ seat.

“Having seen the backlash, both online and off, I would seriously hope that you might reconsider this selection.

“What does a woman from Islington care or know about a northern town famous for making wire?

“As a northern woman, in a northern town, I expect northern representation in Westminster.”

Council leader Cllr Russ Bowden is Ms Nichols’ election agent and says she knows Warrington ‘very well’.

Warrington Guardian:

Cllr Russ Bowden

He added: “What we know is that this far out from a general election, the party’s ability at very short notice to select a candidate and do the process in line with how you want to do it, where the CLP (Constituency Labour Party) and the members are fully involved in that process, where they have the opportunity to longlist and shortlist and then obviously select a candidate, is very difficult to do, in a really compressed timeframe.

“What we have seen throughout the country is the vast majority of CLPs having the opportunity to do that process.

“We are where we are, the NEC (National Executive Committee) appointed a selection panel and that has selected a candidate for us.

“She is a fantastic candidate, I have got the honour of being her election agent.

“She does have links to the north west, she spent all of her adult life in the north west.

“A lot has been made about her being from London, it is nonsense really.

“She has been very positive about what she wants to achieve for Warrington North.”

Cllr Bowden also insists the election is ‘not just about Brexit’ and says being the election agent will have no impact on his role as council leader.

Asked on whether he backs party leader Jeremy Corbyn, he said: “Regardless of where you are in the Labour Party, in terms of your political views and where you are on the political spectrum, when it comes to a general election we are all on the same side.

“We are all Labour Party members, we are all fighting for our candidates to ensure they are returned as Labour Party MPs and to give us the best chance of forming a Labour government – that is what we are all absolutely working to.”