Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Blair Babe Whose Father Is Standing against Labour

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Blair Babe Whose Father Is Standing against Labour

Article excerpt

THE FATHER of Watford Labour MP Claire Ward has quit the party after 45 yea rs

and is standing against it in the local elections.

The decision by Frank Ward comes after bitter in-fighting in Hertsmere, which adjoins his daughter's marginal parliamentary constituency.

Mr Ward has been a councillor for 24 years and was Labour group leader two years ago. But he claims he has been the victim of a witch-hunt by Labour Left-wingers opposed to his support for faith-based schools. He will stand as an independent in the ward he represented for Labour, threatening to split the vote.

The row is a blow to Labour's South-East election battle, where MPs and officials fear a rout to the resurgent Tories.

It may even affect Watford, where Labour is defending its last few council seats and Ms Ward has a majority of just 1,148.

Today her mother Cathy also resigned from Labour in protest.

"The way I have been treated is a disgrace," Mr Ward told the Standard. …

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