Head to head battle in St Helens Labour deputy leader vote re-run

Susan Murphy and Marlene Quinn expected to go head-to-head in the vote
Susan Murphy and Marlene Quinn expected to go head-to-head in the vote
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Councillors will vote to appoint the deputy leader of the St Helens Labour group tonight after a re-run was ordered by the party’s regional arm.

It is understood that councillors Susan Murphy and Marlene Quinn will go head-to-head in tonight’s vote after two candidates dropped out of the race.

The vote originally took place last Monday, with Coun Murphy being declared the winner on the night.

However, a recount took place the following day after concerns were raised about the validity of the result, which had been verified by a senior regional official.

Since then, Coun David Baines and former council leader Barrie Grunewald have pulled out of the race.

Coun Grunewald said: “I’ve withdrawn as an election was held and overseen by a regional official, so I think the result should stand.

“If people had an issue, they should have complained at the time and not let conspiracy theories run wild, which there currently is.

“Either way the result should stand.”

Mr Smith took full responsibility for the incident, which was described as a “cock-up” by one independent teller and a “miscalculation” by the deputy regional director.

The winner of tonight’s vote could potentially be named deputy leader of St Helens Council, however, this is not a constitutional requirement.

Under the constitution, the council leader chooses their own deputy but they can opt not to appoint one, as has happened previously.