Dear Editor,

I refer to the letter from Arun Chandran and having discussed the contents with the Branch Chair make the following comments to the allegations. Aycliffe North / West Labour Party Branch is not a place of corruption and bullying. Arun Chandran’s allegations were shelved because they were found to be nonsense. No impropriety has been committed. Not one word of his letter was true. We notice that amongst all the bluster Arun did not deny the Northern Echo report that he tried to manipulate a By-election by fielding a dummy candidate. He also failed to mention that he was under investigation by the NEC of the Labour Party.

He mentions the fact that the Branch selected a member from Darlington but fails to mention that this member works in Tesco and under the rules set by Parliament you are allowed to stand as a candidate if you, live, work, volunteer or own property in the area that you wish to stand. He further says that he investigated a member who lives in Ferryhill and not on the electoral roll that would be an issue for DCC’s electoral officer who would spot that. In this case the member works at Greenfield School. It is not an issue for the Labour Party. Once again, he got it wrong, Cllr. Chandran is manipulating the system. According the GATC website he calls himself, Independent – Labour he cannot wear two hats he is either Independent or Labour.

Labour belongs to the official Labour Party, not someone who just pretends to be. There are people on this town who also take a dim view of people being elected on one ticket then swapping sides but would like to see them stand down with a Byelection called, maybe Cllr. Chandran should consider his position.

Vince Crosby Branch Secretary Aycliffe North/West BLP