THE Labour party has deselected five Middlesbrough councillors after undergoing an interview process with local activists.

The five - Councillor Len Junier, who represents North Ormesby and Brambles Farm ward; Councillor Pervaz Khan, who represents Middlehaven ward, Councillor Sajaad Khan, who represents Gresham ward; Councillor Derek Loughborough, who represents North Ormesby and Brambles Farm ward; and Councillor John McPartland, who represents Middlehaven ward - will continue to work as councillors until the May 2015 election.

Steve Cass, chairman of Middlesbrough’s Local Campaign Forum which is the body charged with organising the interview and selections process for Labour Party candidates, said: “The process of selecting Labour’s candidates for local elections is still ongoing and those who are unsuccessful have a right to appeal, meaning it would be unfair to comment on individual cases.

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“Interviews of those wishing to stand for Labour have been carried out by members from both Middlesbrough and from outside of the borough.”

Coun Pervaz Khan and Coun Loughborough were suspended last year over claims they had paid people to join the party.

After an investigation by the national Labour Party, their “administrative suspensions” were later lifted.

Coun McPartland is the longest-serving councillor out of the five.

He represented the Park ward from 1983, then Kader ward from 1999. He began work in the Middlehaven ward in 2003.

Coun Junier is the second longest-serving after becoming a councillor in 2009.

Coun Pervaz Khan has been a councillor since 2006, Coun Sajaad Khan since 2011 and Coun Loughborough since 2012.

All five councilors, who are entitled to challenge the decision, declined to comment on their de-selection.

Last year, a Boundary Commission review has decided that the people of Middlesbrough will be represented by two fewer councillors from 2015.

The announcement followed a 12-week consultation on its draft proposals to redraw ward boundaries and reduce the total number of elected members from 48 to 46.