Nick Forbes, who represents local government on Labour’s national ruling body, has been deselected as a council candidate in Newcastle, where he has been council leader since 2011.
The councillor, an ally of Keir Starmer on Labour’s national executive committee (NEC), lost his battle to be reselected against Abdul Samad by 13 votes to four in a meeting on Tuesday evening.
Unless Forbes can successfully challenge the validity of the result or get selected in a different council ward, he will not be able to contest the local elections in May.
There are divisions within Labour in Newcastle, where Forbes faced off a council leadership challenge last year and where he was unsuccessful in becoming the party’s North of Tyne mayor candidate in 2019.
LabourList understands that Forbes can keep his NEC place until September, with elections for the two local government reps taking place over the summer. Alice Perry is the other incumbent, currently chair of the NEC.
As well as a question mark over who might next lead Newcastle City Council, there are also questions over who could be the new leader of the Local Government Association (LGA) Labour group.