Axed Labour candidate drops her legal fight but with warning to party
'I believe it is important that women like me are given the chance to fight seats like Bassetlaw'
15 November, 2019 — By Richard Osley
A FORMER councillor who was axed as a general election candidate just days into her campaign has dropped her legal challenge, telling supporters that she will not “risk her health and house” over the case.
Sally Gimson, who stepped down from the Town Hall last year, had been selected in Bassetlaw, a constituency in Nottinghamshire. But last week she was suddenly removed by the party, which said it was investigating complaints relating to constituency meetings back in Holborn and St Pancras.
Ms Gimson, who lives in Gospel Oak, denied all of the allegations and said she was the victim of a smear campaign.
The case has had a significant fallout among Labour members in Camden who feel Ms Gimson was unfairly treated by the fellow party members in Holborn and St Pancras who raised the complaints. Insiders often talk about the fractious atmosphere at constituency meetings, with raised voices and sharp retorts.
Ms Gimson had consulted lawyers over her removal, but as the party moved to install a replacement candidate, she said on Friday: “I have decided not to risk my health and house fighting the party I love.”
Ms Gimson added: “I am so sad not to be able to have a chance to represent Bassetlaw. If I had fought and won the seat I would have been the first woman MP there. Many women I met were excited by the prospect and I believe it is important that women like me are given the chance to fight seats like Bassetlaw.”
John Mann, the outgoing MP in Bassetlaw, criticised Keir Starmer for not making more of a public protest. But later in the week, Mr Starmer and Ms Gimson were photographed together canvassing in Camden, without any sign of hard feelings. M
r Starmer tweeted to his followers: “I’m sad to see Sally Gimson arrive home from Bassetlaw. A dedicated woman of principle, who always speaks up for those least heard, I’m proud to have endorsed her.”