TWELVE Labour councillors wanting to stand for election next May have been placed at risk of being ousted by the local Momentum group.

Of the 22 Labour councillors currently sitting on Brighton and Hove City Council, nine are standing down before the 2019 elections.

The others, with the exception of Councillor Nancy Platts, East Brighton, have been targeted for deselection by the city’s Momentum movement, whose 2,000 or so members will be encouraged to vote for pro-Corbyn applicants at selection meetings.

The group held meetings on how to encourage Momentum members to run for the council.

A source told The Argus that Momentum members receive emails of the names of applicants ideologically aligned with the movement.

Greg Hadfield, the suspended secretary of Brighton, Hove and district Labour Party, is also a member of the city’s Momentum steering committee.

He posted a list of 39 “talented and committed” applicants on social media sites, urging members to vote for them at shortlisting and selection stage.

Cllr Platts, who has spoken at Momentum events and was hired as Jeremy Corbyn’s trade union liaison manager, made the list but the other 12 sitting councillors vying for reselection did not.

Mr Hadfield said: “I posted on social media that the Labour Party is spoiled for choice, with a list of some of the many individuals who support Jeremy Corbyn and the socialist policies he epitomises.

“Thanks to the inspiration of Mr Corbyn and the work of Brighton and Hove Momentum, we have a record number of excellent Labour candidates seeking to win the first socialist majority on Brighton and Hove City Council in May next year.

“I would urge all party members to attend the crucial meetings in the days and weeks ahead.

“Every vote will count.

“And every vote will help establish a new direction for our city.”

Shortlisting meetings for next year’s Labour candidates take place until July 31.

So far, the only sitting councillor to be deselected is Cllr Adrian Morris of Queen’s Park Ward.

Councillor Tracey Hill, Hollingdean and Stanmer, was automatically reselected, and the shortlist for the ward includes two Momentum-backed applicants.

As of July 11, the Labour Party rulebook has clarified that if a sitting councillor is not automatically reselected, they no longer have the automatic right to attend a selection meeting where would-be candidates have the chance to make a speech.

Peter Kyle, Labour MP for Hove and Portslade, said: “Having re-elected me last year with a majority of more than 18,000, Hove residents can see the advantage of having a strong and effective local Labour voice.

“I didn’t achieve this victory in isolation however.

“By working in connection with some excellent Labour councillors over the last three years, we have been able to achieve more than the sum of our parts.

“I urge the local Labour Party therefore to value the work done at a very local level by our current councillors and to give them the opportunity to address members in an open and democratic meeting in which to be able to set out a case for reselection.

“Momentum claims to value democracy and openness so I’m sure they will also be happy to apply this to our current councillors at their selection meeting.”