I am writing to you to ask some questions about the European Parliament selection process conducted in your region. I have been accused by Jonathan Ashworth MP of making ‘cheap accusations‘ as a result of my blog entry about the selection of Nicki Brooks so I am writing to you to try to set the record straight. I am doing this in public, here on my blog, as it is in the interests of transparency of the process.
Two facts are clear at the outset. First is that Nicki Brooks was a member of the original selection committee. Second is that Nicki Brooks was selected as one of the candidates for East Midlands. This leaves a number of outstanding issues:
- Did Nicki Brooks submit an application to become a candidate by 1st January 2013, as all other candidates did?
- Was the decision taken to consider Nicki Brooks as a candidate taken before or after all other candidates had been interviewed? If it was the former, why was she still a member of the selection committee? If it was the latter, is that fair to other candidates interviewed?
- If, as has been suggested by a commenter on my blog, the nomination process was re-opened to allow Nicki Brooks to become a candidate, for how long was the process re-opened? And hence how many people knew that the process had been re-opened? What communication was made with party members to inform them that the process had been re-opened?
- Bearing in mind the gender balance requirements of the nomination process, how many men and how many women initially made applications (by 1st January) in East Midlands? And how many men and how many women were initially interviewed by the original selection committee?
Until these questions are answered adequately then major questions remain about the conduct of the selection process.
I look forward to your reply, which I trust will also be available publicly. Do feel free to write the response in the comments form below this post, or to e-mail it to me for publishing here.
Jon Worth, 24.4.13