A Met Police investigation into the selection of a Unite official as the Labour candidate for the Lewisham Deptford seat in the 2015 election has found no evidence of malpractice.
Vicky Foxcroft was chosen by Labour in May as the replacement for veteran MP Joan Ruddock who is retiring at the end of this Parliamentary term. She is currently a councillor for Brockley.
The selection of Foxcroft, a Unite representative for high street bank workers, was referred to the police by the Conservative party following revelations of Unite’s influence on the selection process for the Falkirk seat.
Lewisham Deptford is a safe Labour seat with Ruddock holding the position since 1987.
Writing to Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Bob Neill the Tory vice-chairman for local government and Bromley and Chislehurst MP said: “A London Labour activist Mandy Richards has alleged that Unite are “bankrolling” a number of “orchestrated” campaigns, and she singles out Lewisham Deptford for special attention.
“Again, given that this constituency appears on Unite’s secret list I am deeply concerned that Falkirk-style abuses may also have taken place.”
However, following the investigation, a Met Police spokesman said: “This matter has now been assessed and there is no evidence of any offences. No further action by the police will be taken.”
The London Labour Party has now called on Neill and the Conservative Party to issue an apology.
“When Bob Neill wrote to the Metropolitan Police, Labour said this was a stunt and there was no evidence to support his ridiculous and untrue claims,” a spokesperson said.
“Now the Met’s Special Investigation Team have confirmed there is no evidence of any criminality, Bob Neill and the Conservative Party should apologise to the police for wasting their time, and to Londoners for wasting valuable police resources on a political stunt.”