A LABOUR councillor who has been a party member for more than half a century said he didn't know whether he would still be by next month.

Argoed Councillor Leon Gardiner said the area had been "inflicted" with a list of a shortlist of parliamentary candidates not from the area.

"Don’t tell me there’s not somebody within the Islwyn constituency area that is not capable," he said.

His comments come after county councillors David Rees, Jonathan Wilson, Jan Jones and Phyll Griffiths resigned in protest that local party members could not pick the shortlist of candidates to replace Don Touhig.

A shortlist of seven was picked by the Labour party’s national executive.

Cllr Gardiner, who also is a community councillor and was mayor of the old Islwyn borough in 1988, said he joined Labour when he was 16. He will have been in the party for 60 years this April.

Now 76, he said there must be somebody capable within the Islwyn borough capable of being on the shortlist.

He said Cllr Jonathan Wiilson, who had applied but was unsuccessful, should have been on the shortlist and should have had an opportunity to represent himself at a pre-selection meeting in Newbridge on Thursday.

Cllr Gardiner said the candidates who did appear were impressive and had said Don Touhig was a hard act to follow.

He said he was worried about his membership and couldn’t say whether he would be a member in a month’s time.

But he added: "We need someone from the constituency that knows the problems that we are going through."

A Welsh Labour spokesman said: "Labour's Prospective Parliamentary Candidates are chosen by local Labour members in a democratic vote, and to suggest that the Labour Party's selection process is anything other than fair would be completely wrong."