A Labour parliamentary candidate is threatening to take the party to court after she failed to win the endorsement of its national representatives.
Dr Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt was selected to fight South Thanet last year, the seat occupied by Tory MP Craig Mackinlay, but the party’s National Executive Committee rejected her as its parliamentary candidate.
That decision was based on three tweets which were posted from the Centre for Cultural Change's Twitter, an account Dr Gordon-Nesbitt contributed to before she decided to stand as a candidate.
Speaking after her candidacy was rejected by the NEC in December, she said: "The Centre for Cultural Change tweets were in no way intended to imply that antisemitism doesn’t exist in the Labour party.”
The NEC ruled that her “conduct does not meet the high standards that are expected of parliamentary candidates and has the potential to bring the party into disrepute.”
That decision was endorsed at a meeting of the NEC yesterday and she was told that the party would not revisit the decision.
Dr Gordon-Nesbitt said she had decided to consider going to go to court to appeal after party members in South Thanet rallied to support her.
She said: “I was all set to walk away before Christmas, but I’ve been amazed and inspired by the response of Labour Party members and supporters in South Thanet and beyond.
"After eight months of great teamwork, the verdict of the local party seems to be that they still want me as their candidate.”
“The last thing I want to do is go to court, but we have to make the Labour Party more accountable to its members and this seems to be the only way of doing it..." - Dr Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt
She continued: “This seems to be an example of the party’s executive ignoring the will of the members and denying one of its democratically elected parliamentary candidates the right to a fair hearing.
"As someone who joined the Labour Party to fight injustice and to advance grassroots democracy, I can’t let this go unchallenged.
“The last thing I want to do is go to court, but we have to make the Labour Party more accountable to its members and this seems to be the only way of doing it.
“I want to stress that this is in no way an attack on the Labour Party leadership. I joined the party to support Jeremy Corbyn, and I now find myself facing some of the same false allegations that have characterised his leadership.”
The possible legal wrangle could leave the party in limbo and without a candidate in a seat that it believes it could win at the next election.