A Labour councillor is fighting de-selection – by his own party.
The son of former Labour Mayor of Kirklees Tom O’Donovan, he was tipped for the top by party officials.
But now, it has emerged, Clr O’Donovan has failed an interview selection test to make Labour’s list of candidates for next May’s local elections.
That means he will be unable to defend the seat he won after ousting the Liberal Democrats.
Like all candidates, Clr O’Donovan had to face a three-strong selection panel and answer the same list of questions.
Clr O’Donovan was later told he had failed the test – much to the amazement of fellow councillors and party colleagues.
In a bid to save his political career, Clr O’Donovan – newly-elected chairman of the Dewsbury and Mirfield District Committee – has appealed the decision.
His appeal will be heard on Thursday at Labour’s regional HQ in Wakefield. Among those speaking on his behalf are Kirklees Council leader David Sheard and Dewsbury West ward chairman and former councillor Paul Ellis.
Clr O’Donovan has declined to comment ahead of the appeal but Mr Ellis said: “I am quite shocked that Darren is in this situation.
“As far as I am concerned he is a conscientious and diligent local councillor with emphasis on the word ‘local’. He works hard and moves on things quickly and with energy and initiative. He has many years to offer the Labour Party.”
The Examiner understands another high-profile Kirklees councillor also faces de-selection and an appeal and is following this up.