A RETIRING Labour councillor has blasted the party after her son wasn’t selected to stand in a ward he has represented for more than two decades.

Jane Frankum said son Paul was deselected by Labour when they were choosing candidates for the upcoming elections next month.

The 75-year-old former mayor decided she would step down from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council in solidarity, saying the pair only operate “as a team”.

Now Jane has criticised Labour and said after 50 years of membership she is disappointed with how her son, who has served Popley West for 22 years, has been treated.

“I am hurt at the way that we were treated by the party that I personally have been a member of for 50 years. It has been sneaky and horrible,” she said.

The group leader of Basingstoke Labour Party, Cllr Andrew McCormick, said he was sorry to hear Jane was hurt that Paul wasn’t selected.

Hopeful candidates, including Jane and Paul, were interviewed by the local Branch Labour Parties - made up entirely of residents of each given area - who made the final selection decision.

With the ward boundaries changing, the Popley East and Popley West wards were merged to create Popley - with three council positions available instead of the previous four (two in each).

Cllr Andy McCormick, Labour group leader, emphasised that “councillors do not select each other” and that this process is instead done by party members in any given area “as it is much more democratic”.

“Because Popley was a new ward merged from Popley East and Popley West, there was always going to be controversy in four candidates going down to three,” said Cllr McCormick.

“This has happened in other councils and it is really down to the sitting councillor how well they handle the prospect of being deselected.”

Ultimately, he added “they could not convince their local party members - Popley residents - that Paul was the best choice to represent the people of Popley.”

In the newly created Popley ward, the three Labour candidates selected to stand are Grant Donohoe, Tom Sajish, and Jackie Tustain.

Jane has criticised the party’s choice, and raised concerns about their lack of experience.

“The candidates that are taking our place have absolutely no experience of council work,” she said.

“When we fought for the post office, the candidates knew they were candidates then, and they did nothing. And they did nothing for the Chineham library. That’s mega hurting.”

Jane said that while she is the more vocal of the pair, Paul is the “brains” behind their joint service.

She said she believed she had only been selected because one of the candidates had to be a woman, and cited political differences as a potential reason for Paul’s failure to make the list.

Jane said that she and Paul will ‘still be here’, caring about Popley after standing down, adding: “I have had several people say to me ‘no Frankums, no votes.’ It’s nice to know that at least the people have not turned their backs.”

Cllr McCormick added that he had “no personal axe to grind” with Jane and Paul, having worked closely with them for ten years when he was a councillor in the neighbouring Popley East ward.

He said: “While I am sorry that Jane feels hurt that her son was not selected, I am nevertheless disappointed that they have spoken out against the new candidates.”