Fresh Labour row as Len McCluskey aide is chosen to stand in safe seat
Labour activists were in open revolt tonight after a close aide to Len McCluskey was chosen to stand in one of the party's safest seats.
Dan Carden was chosen by Labour's national executive committee to stand in Liverpool Walton after beating off competition from local mayor Joe Anderson and north west MEP Theresa Griffin.
Critics immediately accused the party leadership of a stitch-up, given Mr McCluskey's strong support for Jeremy Corbyn.
The seat only became vacant earlier this week when Steve Rotheram - who was Mr Corbyn's parliamentary bag-carrier - stood down to take up his role as Liverpool's first metro mayor.
In a furious statement, Mr Anderson said the decision to reject his candidacy showed Labour "is not always a meritocracy".
My statement following the NEC decision pic.twitter.com/WLburUZOII
Ben Williams, secretary of the Liverpool Walton constituency Labour party, announced on Twitter that he was quitting.
Mr Carden was born in Liverpool, but is relatively unknown in the city. His supporters also pointed out that his dad was a Liverpool docker and trade union leader, while his mum works in the constituency.
But one NEC veteran told PoliticsHome: "Jeremy Corbyn's bag-carrier replaced by Len McCluskey's bag-carrier. Straight-talking, honest politics."