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Unite officials, retreads and washed-up Brownites picked in Labour's troubled MEP selections

By Mark Wallace
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Labour holesLabour have now published the results of their selection process for next year's European elections (the full regional lineups are available on LabourList). It makes for interesting reading.

As Tim Shipman of the Daily Mail has spotted, "Unite candidates or officials have the top spot in every region in Labour's MEP lists apart from East Midlands, where they are 2nd".

Quelle surprise! The union embroiled in a scandal over their plans to unduly influence candidate selections has coincidentally seen its people top the ballot almost everywhere.

Not that that's the only problem with the candidates selected.

Neena Gill, the top-ranked candidate in the West Midlands is a former MEP, who lost her seat at the last election, and was given a rather brutal review by Labour blogger Jon Worth:

"I worked as her Assistant for a period, and I can vouch for her incompetence."

Gill isn't the only Labour re-tread. Siôn Simon (No 2 in the West Midlands) was previously the MP for Birmingham Erdington, and is notorious for repeatedly disgracing himself through his media appearances in the dark days of the Brown government.

Lynda Waltho (No 3 in the West Midlands) was another Brownite enthusiast in the House of Commons - see her here explaining how "no one is better qualified" than Gordon to secure the future of the economy - until she lost her seat in 2010. Coincidentally, she used to be an advisor to the aforementioned Neena Gill.

Richard Corbett (No 2 in Yorkshire and the Humber) lost his place as an MEP in 2009, and is currently advising Herman van Rompuy on how to deliver ever-closer European Union.

While the Conservative selection process has had its bumps in the road, Labour's has been a catastrophe, marked by in-fighting, factionalism and allegations of widespread fixing.

Two senior activists in the North East resigned over the treatment of their daughter, who was competing with trade union candidates for a position. In May we reported on the civil war within London's Labourites over the ditching of a popular candidate whom the unions felt was too centrist for their tastes. Another would-be candidate, Razvan Constantinescu, told the BBC that he and "hundreds" of Labour Party members in the South West had complained to Ed Miliband about a scandal "painfully reminiscent of what is happening in Falkirk". The problems are clearly nationwide.

All in all, not a happy start to Labour's campaign.