Labour selects Croydon East candidate amid Met investigation into party

The Labour Party has selected Natasha Irons as its parliamentary candidate for Croydon East in the upcoming general election, it was announced on Saturday.

Ms Irons is a cabinet member on Labour-run Merton council, where she has been a councillor for Figges Marsh since 2018. The 41-year-old has also worked as a media planning manager at Channel 4 since 2011.

After it was announced that she had won on the first ballot, with more than 50 per cent of the vote, Ms Irons said: “I am delighted to have been selected as Labour’s candidate for Croydon East, and want to thank local Labour members for their support.

“Croydon East represents so much that is special about South London – its diversity, culture and community spirit. If elected, I pledge to be a truly local MP. 

“Whether it’s protecting our NHS, improving community safety or tackling the cost-of-living crisis, I’ll always put Croydon East first.

“Under Keir Starmer’s leadership, Labour is back in the service of working people.”

The selection will be welcomed by party members after the process was paused for five months in November.

Labour introduced the suspension while it looked into complaints that data provided to some candidates was inaccurate.

The investigation found that some of the personal details of Labour members in the Croydon East constituency were altered on the Labour Party membership database without authorisation.

As a result, some members may not have received some of the Labour Party’s communications that were sent during that period.

There were also allegations the membership database was tampered with. 

The Met has confirmed its Cyber Crime team are investigating the allegations, now Labour’s own inquiry has concluded.

A spokesman for the Met said: “We have received allegations of computer misuse in relation to an internal selection process for a political party in Croydon during October and November last year.

“The Met’s Cyber Crime team are investigating and enquiries are ongoing.”

A Labour Party spokeswoman said: “The Labour Party takes the protection of personal information and the rights of Labour Party members very seriously, which is why there has been a thorough investigation into the selection process in Croydon East and all members affected have been written to with the outcome of the investigation.

“Remedial work has taken place and data restored and the selection process was resumed and has now concluded.”

The Greens and Conservatives selected their candidates,  Peter Underwood and Jason Cummings respectively, for Croydon East last year.

Pictured top: Natasha Irons, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Croydon East (Picture: Labour)

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