THE BATTLE lines have been drawn for the General Election fight between Conservative Halesowen and Rowley Regis MP James Morris and his Labour opponent Stephanie Peacock.
The furore over Labour’s selection problems in Falkirk, Scotland has reached the Black Country with Miss Peacock being forced to defend selection.
Chairman of Halesowen and Rowley Regis Conservative Association launched a broadside against Miss Peacock, who was selected by Labour last month, over her ties to the giant Unite union.
Cllr Alan Taylor, chairman of the Halesowen and Rowley Regis Conservative Association, said: “Local people will obviously look at this leaked report and wonder if Unite stitched up the Labour selection in Halesowen and Rowley Regis like they seem to have stitched up the selection in Falkirk.
He added: “We know that massive trade unions provide almost all of the Labour Party’s money; now we can see what they are getting in return.
“Every day there are more and moe revelations that raise questions about Labour’s selection here.
He added: “People in Halesowen and Rowley Regis will only get the answers they deserve if Ed Miliband does the right thing and launches a full, transparent and open inquiry.”
However, Miss Peacock hit back branding Mr Taylor criticism a “political stunt”. She said: "There is no truth whatsoever in the claims that any rules were broken, it would be wrong to suggest so.
“The process engaged all local party members and I was pleased to receive support from all the local wards across the constituency.
"I live and work locally having grown up in the area. I know that people will see this for what is: a political stunt.
She added: “I hope that this recent statement from the local Conservatives aren't the kind of dirty tricks that James Morris will support over the next two years.
"The next election will be about the living standards of local people who are on average £26 and £32 a week worse of as a result of Treasury tax changes that benefit millionaires in the Cabinet but few people locally. I will be campaigning for local people on the issues that matter to them."
Local Halesowen and Rowley Regis Constituency Labour Party Chair Doug Round said: "We have just gone through a full selection process, run strictly by the rules.
“The overwhelming majority of the member's voted to select a local candidate, who we have all known as a local Labour member since she was a lass.”