David Blunkett urges Labour to publish internal Falkirk report

David Blunkett: "We cannot have a go at the vested interests of the Tory party if we don't clear our own house"

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Labour has been urged to publish an internal report which led the party to take over the selection process to find a new Falkirk constituency candidate.

The plea has come from former home secretary David Blunkett.

An investigation by Labour's ruling NEC found "sufficient evidence of concern" about membership lists in the Falkirk constituency party.

The probe followed claims the Unite union sought to "stitch up" the candidate selection process.

The union has denied any wrongdoing and has demanded access to the internal document.

The row centres on allegations that Unite encouraged its members to join the constituency Labour Party in order to provide support to a favoured union candidate.

Speaking on the Daily Politics on BBC Two, Mr Blunkett said the party had "taken the right step by having an investigation" and said he hoped the NEC would "deal with it decisively".

Mr Blunkett went on to say he thought the party should publish the report, adding that Labour "should be as transparent as possible".

However, Labour said its standard practice was not to publish the NEC's internal reports.

Last week the party took control of the process of selecting a replacement for Falkirk MP Eric Joyce - who is stepping down at the next election.

It is choosing its candidate from an all-woman shortlist and no-one who joined Labour after 12 March 2012 - the day when Mr Joyce announced he was standing down - will be able to take part in the process.

In a statement, Unite accused the Labour leadership of "the mass disenfranchisement of Unite members and other decent men and women in Falkirk".

It went on to say that it believed the matter had now escalated into a "a political issue over the future of the Labour Party".

Unite also rejected claims of vote rigging and said it had operated "entirely within the rules and procedures of the Labour Party."

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