Andy Burnham’s campaign has criticised Labour’s “unbelievable” decision to close its telephone helpline for people yet to receive ballot papers on the final day of its leadership contest. With less than 24 hours to go before the voting deadline, dozens of Labour members and supporters have publicly complained that they have still not received emails or papers allowing them to take part. Some of the leadership campaigns believe hundreds if not thousands of members and supporters could be disenfranchised. After receiving many complaints over the last week, Labour reissued thousands of ballots by email on Tuesday to people who had not yet voted. It is understood that Iain McNicol, the party’s general secretary, then emailed all the leadership campaigns on Tuesday, saying the reminder email would “hopefully pick up any outstanding issues your teams have been contacted about non-receipt of ballot papers”.
The email, seen by the Guardian, added: “From today the party’s leadership call centre will no longer be accepting calls. Callers to the party’s leadership call centre will now receive a recorded message giving essential details of the final issue of ballots by email. In addition it is now too late to amend email addresses to which we send people’s ballots.”
It advised candidates to tell people complaining about their missing ballots simply to check their spam folders.
However, the problem still does not appear to have been solved given the scale of complaints on social media and a number of calls from Labour supporters to the Guardian.