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General Election 2019: Labour bans three former MPs from standing again

General Election 2019: Labour bans three former MPs from standing again

Chris Williamson, Stephen Hepburn, Roger Godsiff (l-r) have been excluded by Labour
Three former Labour MPs - including Jeremy Corbyn ally Chris Williamson - have been banned from standing by the party's National Executive Committee.Mr Williamson, who represented Derby North, was suspended in an anti-Semitism row.Stephen Hepburn, ex-MP for Jarrow, was being investigated over a sexual harassment claim, denied by him, while Roger Godsiff was facing a reselection battle in Birmingham Hall Green.New candidates will be chosen instead.It comes as Conservative Alun Cairns resigned from the cabinet over claims he knew about a former aide's role in the "sabotage" of a rape trial.
Mr Cairns still intends to stand as a Tory candidate in the general election.
Labour's Keith Vaz faces six-month suspension
MP loses appeal over anti-Semitism suspension
Labour's ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) has not made a final decision on whether Keith Vaz can stand for the party, the BBC understands.The former Leicester East MP was last week suspended from the House of Commons for six months by a standards watchdog.Mr Vaz "disregarded" the law by "expressing a willingness" to help buy cocaine for male prostitutes, the Commons standards commission said in a scathing report.
Keith Vaz's future remains unclear
Mr Vaz was re-selected as Labour's candidate in Leicester East, a seat he has represented for 32 years, a few weeks before the publication of the standards report.If Mr Vaz was re-elected on 12 December, he would not be able to take up his seat until his suspension ends - and he could face a recall petition, giving voters a chance to remove him.His Labour colleague, shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, said after the standards commission ruling that he should "consider his position"."I think he himself should agree not to be a candidate," she told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.Mr Vaz did not make any comment on his suspension, but a spokesman said he was receiving treatment for a serious mental health condition.
Anti-Semitism row
Chris Williamson was suspended by Labour in February after claiming the party had "been too apologetic" in its response to criticism of handling anti-Semitism allegations.He was reinstated in June but was suspended again after a backlash from MPs, peers and Jewish groups.Last month, he lost a High Court bid to be reinstated by the party - but the judge also ruled Labour acted unlawfully when it re-opened the disciplinary case against him.Stephen Hepburn was suspended by the Labour Party last month, as it launched an investigation into claims he sexually harassed a female party member in her 20s at a curry house 14 years ago.Mr Hepburn said he "completely refutes" the allegation.
Labour MP suspended in sexual harassment inquiry
MP warned over LGBT school protest support
Roger Godsiff, meanwhile, had been facing a vote of constituency party members over whether he should be allowed to stand again before the NEC stepped in. The former MP has been at the centre of a row over his support for protesters against LGBT teaching.Campaigners had been gathering outside Anderton Park Primary School, in Birmingham, to argue children were too young to learn about same-sex relationships.Mr Godsiff was formally reprimanded by the Labour Party in June, after he was seen in a video agreeing with protesters.In a statement, the party said it has "long supported and campaigned for LGBT+ inclusive education in schools".
Roger Godsiff
Stephen Hepburn
Chris Williamson
Labour Party
Keith Vaz
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