|James Brokenshire and Labour election material|
Labour have apologised to the family of late Conservative MP James Brokenshire after they addressed a letter to him for the forthcoming by-election in his seat. An election communication was sent to Mr Brokenshire's family home in the Old Bexley and Sidcup constituency, addressed directly to the deceased MP and urging him to vote Labour.
Mr Brokenshire died last month after a long battle with lung cancer. The resulting by-election is being held in the London constituency on December 2. Labour have been the nearest challengers in every general election in the seat since 1992 and are looking to overturn a huge 19,000 Tory majority. They have selected a long standing local councillor as their candidate. The Conservatives have also selected a local councillor as their candidate.
Tory MP David Evennett described Labour's Brokenshire letter as 'insensitive' and the Mail on Sunday reported that it caused 'deep upset' to the ex-minister's widow.
In a statement Labour said: "This was the standard freepost mailing that parties get at election time which is sent to all registered electors in the local area. We sincerely apologise for any distress cause to the Brokenshire family". Why did no-one involved in the mailshot stop to think that the former MP actually lived in his own constituency? The Mail on Sunday quoted an unnamed Labour MP describing the incident as a 'dreadful error' and that there is 'no way' it should have happened.
Old Bexley & Sidcup by-election candidates
Elaine Cheeseman (EngDem)
Daniel Francis (Lab)
Louie French (Con)
Richard Hewison (Rejoin)
David Kurten (Heritage)
John Poynton (UKIP)
Simone Reynolds (LDem)
Jonathan Rooks (Grn)
Richard Tice (Reform)
Carol Valinejad (CPA)
Mad Mike Young (Loony)
Old Bexley & Sidcup 2019 general election
James Brokenshire (Con) 29,786 (64.5%) +3.1%
Dave Tingle (Lab) 10,834 (23.5) -5.8%
Simone Reynolds (LDem) 3,822 (8.3%) +5.0%
Matt Browne (Grn) 1,477 (3.2%) +1.5%
Carol Valinejad (CPA) 226 (0.5%) +0.3%