09:05 on 9th April, this comment appeared in response to my blog post about Labour MEP selections, by a chap called Joseph who also did not leave a valid e-mail address and is hence untraceable:
Hi Jon, Interesting selections from Labour again ….. In the East Midlands Nikki Brookes was originally part of the selecting process (@NickiBrooksx see tweet 16Feb) she must have selected herself!! (original comment is here)
I investigated this issue and, sure enough, there were two tweets from @NickiBrooksx dated 16th February that seemed to show she had sat all day on the selection panel. I linked to those tweets here. I was also even decent enough to try to give Nicki a chance to reply, having tweeted this to her, also on 9th April. That tweet received no reply, nor to the tweet I wrote to Johanna Baxter and Ellie Reeves, NEC members, that you can find here.
Anyway, what has happened this evening? The offending tweets… have been deleted.
Well that was clever, wasn’t it. Because of course I have kept a screenshot to confirm what Nicki Brooks wrote:
Yes, that’s the same Nicki Brooks who is listed as one of Labour’s candidates in East Midlands Region. Someone who was on the selection panel who seems to have selected… herself. And then deleted the tweets. Well done. Ever heard of the Streisand effect, Nicki and East Midlands Region?
[UPDATE: in my haste to get the blog entry out, the last paragraph originally read ‘Eastern’ and should have read ‘East Midlands’. Now corrected!]
[UPDATE 2: following tweets with Sunny Hundal, apparently the blog entry is not clear enough. We know that Nicki Brooks was a member of the selection panel in East Midlands. We know that panel chose her as a candidate. We do not know if she submitted an application to be a MEP prior to the January deadline as all candidates were supposed to do. We do not know what the rationale was for why the panel, that she sat on, chose her.]
Note: I have now followed this up with an open letter to the Regional Director of East Midlands Labour.
If the list was re-opened some questions still remain….
– Did Nicky Brooks apply on the 1st of Jan?
– If so, how did she end up on a panel for a job she wanted?
– if this is not the case and the list was rolled back for new applications giving Nicky Brooks the chance to apply why were all members not informed?
– How did the original long listing process get the gender balance wrong when its clear in the rules of the split between men and women that is needed needed, the process should have got rid of any candidates who were not up for the job at that stage.
So with respect to the latter point, it goes back to the original idea of the stitch up with loyal or unknown candidates put on the list to make clear way for the Union or Inner Circle backed front runners.We expect more from the party we work hard for.
I am advised that the Euro list was briefly reopened as there was an insufficient number of women. Then a new selection panel was put together. There needed to be a gender balance on the list.
This is shameful i hope members complain.
Is it any wonder that good candidates are deterred from running? Assuming of course they can afford to in the first place! It is slightly arrogant that Ms Brooks doesn’t think she needs to respond to these allegations.
Not the first time this has happened in the East Mildands, Jon. Last time round Kathy Salt was also selected having sat on the selection panel…