Labour Party ditches would-be MP after revelations over car damage

A WOULD-be Labour MP has been ditched as the candidate for a controversial seat following the Yorkshire Post's exclusive revelation that she had accepted a police caution for damaging her former boyfriend's car.

Janet Oosthuysen, a mother of three teenagers, beat Cherie Blair's stepmother Steph Booth by just five votes in last summer's contest for the Calder Valley nomination.

Weeks later it was revealed that in April 2007 Ms Oosthuysen, in a fit of rage, had damaged 44-year-old Craig Moore's BMW near the Fox and Goose pub at the bottom of Heptonstall Road, Hebden Bridge.

Since then her fate has hung by the slimmest of threads as she was forced to deny claims that she had had a relationship with Tory Kris Hopkins, the leader of Bradford Council.

Critics within the Labour Party said she would probably have lost the vote if members had known of her police caution.

Yesterday, a Labour Party spokesman said: "After careful consideration, the Labour Party NEC has decided not to endorse Janet Oosthuysen as a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate on the grounds of her police caution for criminal damage.

"Calder Valley Constituency Labour Party will hold another selection process to choose another candidate for the next General Election.''

Last night, constituency secretary, Dave Gee, said: "I'm a little bit disappointed to say the least. I am surprised it has taken so long to make a decision."

Ms Oosthuysen is in Washington for Barack Obama's inauguration as US President and was unavailable for comment last night.

The Calder Valley seat has had a troubled history in recent years for would-be candidates.

Tory Sue Catling was deselected after three attempts to unseat her while the married candidate chosen to replace her, Liz Truss, was later found to have had an affair with a Tory frontbencher.

And Craig Whittaker, the Prospective Conservative Parliamentary candidate, had to call in the police when his sexuality was questioned in an anonymous e-mail.