A Labour backbencher says she is “disappointed” after a “small number” of party members triggered a contest which leaves her fighting for her political future.
Diana Johnson, who represents Hull North, has become the first Labour MP to face being deselected under new rules agreed at the 2018 party conference.
And she is now battling to be its candidate at the next general election.
Only a third of either local party members or the same percentage of affiliate groups, such as unions, have to vote in favour of a selection contest for it to be triggered.
And in Ms Johnson’s case, this threshold has been met.
Under the previous rules, half of both local members and affiliates had to back a fresh contest.
She is now considering challenging the decision to force her to fight to retain her candidacy in a seat she has won four times.
As the sitting MP, Ms Johnson will automatically have a place on the ballot paper in the upcoming selection race.
She wrote on Twitter: “I am disappointed to have been triggered for an open selection by a small number of members, especially when overall the majority of Hull North Constituency Labour Party members have so far voted to reselect me.
“I am currently considering a procedural challenge to the process.
“However, I stand on my record and will continue doing what I have done every day since May 5th 2005, when I was first elected, representing the people of Hull North to the very best of my ability – and working to get a Labour government elected.
“It’s business as usual as far as I am concerned.”
Melanie Onn, the Labour MP for nearby Great Grimsby, tweeted: “She is truly outstanding. Sorry minority of members in her backyard can’t see that.”
Thangam Debbonaire, a Labour whip and MP for Bristol West, tweeted: “Diana Johnson is an outstanding MP, an example to everyone, standing up for her constituents, skilfully campaigning on national issues.
“Triggering her for full selection is the opposite of helping to defeat #LiarJohnson. Why would anyone think this helps us to win a Labour govt.”
Ms Johnson, who was first elected under Tony Blair in 2005, was promoted to the frontbench by Gordon Brown in 2009 to serve as schools minister.
She was briefly shadow foreign minister under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership before resigning following the 2016 European referendum result.
At the 2017 general election, she increased her majority to more than 14,000 – a rise of 1,500 compared with 2015.
The former barrister has campaigned for justice for those affected by the contaminated blood scandal – when the NHS gave blood infected with hepatitis C to around 4,000 people in the 1970s and 80s.
She is a centre-left politician, a member of Labour Friends of Israel and was involved in amending the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Act in July in a move that legalised abortion in the six counties.
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