Mr Church is lobbying for support at this week's Labour party conference and is planning to denounce the NEC's attempts to force his local party into line when he speaks at a fringe meeting.
'We are not abandoning our election manifesto commitment to set up local committees. I doubt if the NEC intervention will mean any different candidates are selected. All that has happened is that we are behind schedule in picking the people we want to stand in May's elections,' Mr Church told the paper.
Meanwhile, The Observer (p5) reported that staff at Walsall MBC fear that officers who are suspected of the opposing the new administration could be purged.