Labour MPs have slammed the party’s ruling body over an attempt to force Dan Jarvis to quit his parliamentary seat if he becomes South Yorkshire’s first mayor.
Mr Jarvis was set a deadline of 5pm yesterday to say whether he would stand down as Barnsley Central MP.
That followed a rule change approved by Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee last week which said MPs cannot hold more than one full-time post at the same time.
The dramatic change came just two days before Mr Jarvis was named Labour’s candidate for the South Yorkshire mayoral election in May.
He has previously made clear that he planned to stay on as an MP if elected, while campaigning to become mayor of the whole of Yorkshire – after which time he would quit the Commons.
It has now emerged that his neighbouring MPs have written to John Cryer, chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party, dubbing the move “undemocratic” and “insulting to the members of South Yorkshire”.
“Dan has been open from the beginning that if elected mayor he would continue as an MP,” they said.
“He was shortlisted on that basis and elected by the members of South Yorkshire on that clear understanding.
“For the NEC to change the rules at this stage and only days away from the close of the ballot in unfair, undemocratic and an insult to all the members who have so recently taken part in the selection process.
“We also believe that this decision is almost certainly unconstitutional.”
It is understood that discussions are ongoing between Mr Jarvis and the Labour Party to try to resolve the dispute.
PoliticsHome has also learned that the leaders of Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham and Barnsley councils have all backed his mayoral campaign.
Mr Jarvis won the Labour nomination with 58% of the vote, defeating Sheffield councillor Ben Curran.
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