What is Labour’s National Executive Committee playing at?
The bizarre ruling that MPs standing as mayors or police commissioners must resign from the Commons places Edgbaston MP Gisela Stuart in quite a bind.
As a Labour MP, she has been ordered to issue a pledge that she will quit her seat before she can be considered as the party’s candidate as mayor of Birmingham.
If she isn’t actually picked as a candidate then the promise will be null and void and she will be allowed to remain as an MP. But she will face a difficult task explaining to local voters why she agreed to abandon them.
MP Bob Ainsworth, in Coventry, faces a similar dilemma.
And if either of them does become a candidate, then there will be a by-election – which Labour may struggle to win in Edgbaston.
The justification is that nobody has the right to claim an MP’s salary while running a mayoral campaign.
It looks as if Labour, nationally, hasn’t embraced the idea of elected mayors.