Yesterday evening we reported that Coventry North West MP Geoffrey Robinson was considering stepping down from the Commons at the very last minute – only hours after Parliament shut down for the election – with rumours circulating that a Miliband aide was one of those in the running for the seat.
Yet after a tetchy 24 hours (in which the local party have announced plans for an emergency meeting tomorrow night to discuss their options) it now appears that Robinson may not step down after all. The Coventry Telegraph reports:
“Coventry Labour members are set to go to war with the national Labour Party over any replacement for Geoffrey Robinson MP as the party’s General Election candidate for Coventry North West. But there is growing speculation in Westminster that Mr Robinson will now stand again after senior national party bosses intervened following growing anger in the Labour Party locally. Mr Robinson, 76, had already informed local Labour colleagues of his impending retirement, but it appears he may now go back on that decision. “
Tomorrow at 6.30pm there will be an emergency meeting of the local party – but that may be superseded by Robinson making an announcement of his intentions later today. Meanwhile, the Coventry Observer claims to have obtained leaked emails sent from Miliband aide Greg Beales to Robinson, asking to “go through the membership list” ahead of a potential hustings.
With members and activists on a high after yesterday’s TV performance from Miliband – and a solid, upbeat campaign launch this morning – the last thing the party needs is a tawdry selection scrap. This needs resolving ASAP.