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Anita Ward facing fight for political life in bitter reselection battle

Anita Ward facing fight for political life in bitter reselection battle

🕔27.Nov 2015

Former Birmingham Lord Mayor Anita Ward is fighting for her political life after failing to be reselected by Labour to defend her seat at the 2016 city council elections.

A meeting of the Hodge Hill ward party last night refused to grant Cllr Ward automatic reselection normally given to sitting councillors. A formal ballot will now be held with other candidates coming forward.

Chamberlain Files understands a proposal in favour of a trigger ballot, denying Cllr Ward automatic reselection, was carried by 18 votes to three.

The decision is the latest blow for Cllr Ward, who earlier this year lost out in a Labour group vote for scrutiny committee posts. Her position as chair of the education and vulnerable children scrutiny committee went to Billesley councillor Susan Barnett.

During her time as scrutiny chair Cllr Ward was publicly critical of the council’s failure to move children’s social services out of Government special measures.

The news of Cllr Ward’s possible deselection was broken on Twitter by Hall Green Labour councillor Barry Bowles, who is vice-chair of the education and vulnerable children scrutiny committee.

Cllr Bowles tweeted:

At a time when politics needs good role models, stunned to hear that @HodgeHillLabour (Anita Ward) has been deselected.

Cllr Ward has represented Hodge Hill ward for Labour since 1996. She was Lord Mayor in 2011-12.

She served as chief whip during Sir Albert Bore’s first period as council leader from 1999 to 2004.

In recent years she has championed armed forces charities and the Royal British Legion.

Cllr Ward was unavailable for comment.

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