The Labour Party’s governing body has blocked supporters in Northern Ireland from contesting next month’s Assembly election under the Labour banner.
In a statement released on Monday, the Labour Party in Northern Ireland (LPNI) confirmed its members are now likely to support independent candidates who are supportive of their “right to stand Labour Party candidates” in the Province.
“This is because, despite our continuing efforts, the Labour Party NEC (National Executive Committee) does not allow us to stand Labour Party candidates,” it said.
“The Labour Party NEC is currently conducting a full review into Labour’s situation in Northern Ireland. This will involve widespread consultation with interested parties, including LPNI.
“LPNI will not be endorsing any candidates in the Assembly elections.
“While we cannot endorse candidates, we may wish to give support to independent candidates who are sympathetic to our policies and in favour of our right to stand Labour Party candidates,” the statement concluded.
In January 2015, Ulster-born MP Kate Hoey said she supported the “long campaign” to have the party contest elections in Northern Ireland.
The Labour member for Vauxhall added: “I find it shocking that my own UK party refuses to allow candidates to be put up in Northern Ireland, and will continue to support those who are calling for it to happen.”