LABOUR have come under fire for "parachuting" in General Election candidates for Wales at the last-minute.

Plaid Cymru Westminster leader Liz Saville-Roberts said there are now several examples of “local Labour voices being completely ignored by the UK leadership”.

Torsten Bell, who runs London-based think tank the Resolution Foundation and has no connection to Wales, has been made the Labour candidate for the safe Swansea West seat.

The decision was taken out of the hands of the local constituency Labour party and delegated to the national executive committee (NEC), much to the disgust of local activists. 

Meanwhile, a move to select Alex Barros-Curtis as the party’s candidate in Cardiff West has also been met with anger. 

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A key aide to Keir Starmer, Barros-Curtis is UK Labour’s executive director of legal affairs and again has no link to the Welsh capital or Wales.

According to the Companies House register, Barros-Curtis was the sole director of Movement for Another Future Limited – which was the name linked to Starmer’s website during his successful campaign to become leader of the Labour Party.

Starmer also used the strapline “Another Future is Possible” throughout his campaign.

Prior to working on Starmer’s campaign, Barros-Curtis had a role in Owen Smith’s failed 2016 leadership bid, in which he was a “trusted adviser to Mr Smith and the campaign’s chair and vice-chair in the campaign’s final weeks”.

Saville-Roberts (below) said: "Labour’s last-minute parachuting of candidates proves that they’re forever taking Wales for granted. 

The National:

"There are now several examples of local Labour voices being completely ignored by the UK leadership, snubbing Welsh councillors and activists.

"We know that Keir Starmer likes to have an iron grip on selection processes and that he objects to a plurality of views within his party, and it now appears that this extends to who he is willing to have as Labour candidates in Wales.

"Labour voters who will be feeling aggrieved can vote for Plaid Cymru candidates who will always put the interests of Wales ahead of personal interest."

Labour have also been accused of parachuting in candidates for Scotland in recent weeks.

Melanie Ward – brought in to replace Wilma Brown in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath after she was removed for “racist” social media activity – lives in London.

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The party’s candidate in Angus and Perthshire Glens is Elizabeth Carr-Ellis, who is a councillor more than 500 miles away in the city of Canterbury, in Kent.

And Labour’s candidate in Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross is Eva Kestner, who works as a councillor in Lewisham in London.

Experts told the Sunday National earlier this month that Rishi Sunak’s sudden announcement of a General Election date on July 4 could lead to more incidents of candidates being parachuted into areas they know little about.

Professor Murray Leith, a politics lecturer at the University of the West of Scotland, said while it generally doesn’t have an impact in safe seats, it can be a risk in marginal constituencies.

He added the rush to have a candidate in place can also lead to a lack of due diligence during the selection process.

Professor Richard Finlay at Strathclyde University said there was a “general expectation” that a local candidate would have an advantage over someone who is parachuted in.

“It can also be seen as evidence of the strength of the local party, or lack of it if someone has to be brought in,” he said.