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LABOUR DENIES LITERACY TESTING

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The Labour Party has denied that literacy tests will be part of its campaign to improve the calibre of council cand...
The Labour Party has denied that literacy tests will be part of its campaign to improve the calibre of council candidates.

'We haven't specified any educational attainment,' said local government officer Aline Delawa. But new forms of testing were tried out in Lewisham, Southwark and Lambeth LBCs for this month's local elections.

In Lambeth, potential candidates were given a competency test involving a dummy case study such as how to help a council tenant with a housing problem.

Fifteen of 100 candidates were barred because they failed the test.

Lambeth deputy leader David Salisbury-Jones said a verbal assessment was not providing the guarantee of competence necessary.

'We wanted to be able to point to the high calibre of our candidates in the election particularly because of the level of support we were receiving from Tony Blair,' said Mr Salisbury-Jones.

'What usually happens is people are asked 'have you got anything to hide and will you vote with the whip?' and if the answer to both questions is yes then they are in,' he said.

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