A panel of four NEC members met today in London to interview potential Labour candidates for the Barnsley Central by-election. We profiled some of the possible frontrunners over the weekend.
The candidates who have made the shortlist – and will go head to head at a CLP selection meeting tomorrow – are:
Councillor Burgess has served on Barnsley council since 2004, and currently serves as cabinet spokesperson for Children, Young People and Family Services. She’s said of her candidacy : “If there is an opportunity to represent Barnsley, and try to get the best for Barnsley, I have to go for it.”
Widely thought of as the union candidate – and publicly backed by Unite and the GMB – Richard is a trade union lawyer from Cross Gates, Yorkshire. He has been a GMB and party activist for over 20 years, representing working people on the shop floor and defending jobs and terms and conditions, and was particularly involved in the Leeds refuse strike.Update: ASLEF are also backing Richard’s candidacy.
A National Policy Forum rep, Emma was the PPC for the safe Tory seat of Yorkshire East in 2005, and was 3rd on the regional list for Labour in the 2009 European elections. She has a wealth of campaigning experience – having worked with John Prescott on his “Go Fourth” campaign, and came second in the Makerfield selection before the last general election. She also served as shadow health secretary John Healey’s agent in May. Update: Unison have announced their backing for Emma’s candidacy.
Former soldier Dan Jarvis wasn’t someone who was originally among the frontrunners for the Barnsley Central seat, but in recent days there has been a flurry of interest in him. 38 year old Jarvis spent fifteen years in the parachute regiment, worked as an assistant to a Nato commander in the Balkans and has family in Yorkshire. He may well be a dark horse for this selection…