Labour announces new General Election candidate for North West Cambridgeshire after last minute deselection

The Labour Party has announced a new candidate for the North West Cambridgeshire constituency just hours before the nominations deadline.

Thursday, 14th November 2019, 2:58 pm
Cllr Ed Murphy

The party has confirmed the Peterborough Telegraph’s exclusive story this morning (Thursday) that it has deselected Ed Murphy who had already submitted his nomination form to stand.

Labour’s National Executive Committee has now endorsed Cathy Cordiner-Achenbach as its official candidate - a Great Yarmouth borough councillor.

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Cathy Cordiner-Achenbach

Mr Murphy has so far not responded to requests for comment and it is unclear whether he intends to still stand as an independent.

If he does, he risks disciplinary action - potentially expulsion from the party - for going up against an endorsed Labour candidate.

The seat is being defended by Conservative Shailesh Vara who won in 2017 with a majority of 18,008 votes. The full list of candidates will be confirmed later this afternoon.

Mr Murphy is a city councillor who represents Ravensthorpe.

He previously ran for Labour in the neighbouring Peterborough constituency at the 2010 General Election, losing by 4,861 votes to Conservative Stewart Jackson.

Since that time he has been Labour’s group leader on the council for a year and was the party’s candidate to be the elected police and crime commissioner in 2012, coming second.

His deselection follows the Daily Mail claiming this week that Mr Murphy had deleted a tweet from July 2014 where he alleged that the Israeli armed forces were backed by the Conservatives on the city council. He is said to have posted: “Israel a terrorist state? And Israeli military (secretly backed by the Cons on Pboro Council) are international pirates.”

The tweet is said to have been accompanied by the image of the Israeli flag turned into a symbol of piracy.

The Mail also claimed that he had shared the image on Twitter twice more in 2015 with the hashtag #MilitaryStatePirates.

Mr Murphy and the Labour Party have both been contacted over the deleted posts, with neither yet to comment.

Moreover, it has previously been alleged that Mr Murphy proposed Alan Bull as a candidate at the Peterborough City Council elections, despite knowing he had shared potentially antisemitic posts on Facebook.

Mr Bull admitted he had made a “bad mistake with disastrous consequences” by sharing an article on his private Facebook account which suggested the Holocaust is a hoax.

But the former candidate for Stanground South in the 2018 city council elections, who was later dropped by the party, categorically refuted that he was a Holocaust denier.

Mr Bull, who described himself as a “lifelong anti-racist,” said he had shared the post with his friends, without comment, to find out their views on the article, but that he was “ignorant of the fact that sharing this article, and some others, would be viewed as antisemitic.”