Tuesday, 9 March 2010

A new challenger...

Labour officials who published the shortlist of women wanting to be the party’s candidate in Ashfield have said they made a mistake.

The list put out last night included Gloria De Piero (right), Faye Abbott and Pam Tatlow (see post below).

But it turns out Pam Tatlow is not on the shortlist – instead a woman called Joyce Still, who hails from Liverpool, will take her place.

This new candidate could make the contest more interesting. It’s not so important that she’s from outside the constituency because, as I mentioned below, so are the other candidates.

But Still seems to have more experience, having stood for Labour in the 2001 and 2005 elections in different seats and having already been a councillor.

She also has a background in nursing, currently works as a health visitor on a "challenging" estate and represents Unite on regional and national committees – all of which will go down well with Labour party members.

It’s this kind of stuff which might enable a candidate to overcome the profile that De Piero – who is the national party’s favoured candidate – brings with her.

It would also stand her in good stead to fight it out with Jason Zadrozny, the Lib Dem candidate for Ashfield, who is the main threat to Labour.

The biggest obstacle for any Labour candidate, though, may still be their own party’s activists.

Comments on this site have shown Ashfield party members still feel slighted by the national party’s manipulation of the contest in their constituency.


Oldrightie said...

Ashfield party members still feel slighted by the national party’s manipulation of the contest in their constituency.

Do they also feel that way in Erdington?

Anonymous said...

She's still an outsider, no political experience on councils or parliament, doesn't know the local setup and so it goes on. Ashfield people are quite sophisticated when it comes to working out people and if they can be their representative. That's why JZ is not getting an easy ride. Labour has blown it so it might well be the Tories who snatch it at the post. But the biggest winner will be apathy thanks to the antics of Geoff the Buffoon. That's what happened at Norwich North. Doesn't the NEC ever learn?

Anonymous said...

I wonder what Harry Harman would say if we asked for all-men lists...

Paul Linford said...

Speaking as someone who used to live in the Ashfield constituency, I have to say that Labour's apparent determination to choose another non-local candidate strikes me as utterly misguided. The best MP Ashfield ever had was the late Frank Haynes, a local man who never set the Commons on fire but was universally regarded locally as a great constituency MP. Labour should have remembered that.

Anonymous said...

How wrong Paul is about Frank Haynes. He was not local. Firstly he was from London and settled in the area as a Bevan Boy. That was how he got into mining. Seondly he was based in Mansfield before he became PPC and then MP for Ashfield. His popularity was never high as he never surpased a ten thousand majority; considering previous Labour majorities of around 24 thousand. Talk about looking at history through rose tinted glasses! But I will agree that he was a far better MP than Geoff ever was.

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