Bradford West shortlist

10th March, 2012 5:00 pm

The rapid-fire selection process ahead of the Bradford West by-election is coming to a close this weekend. Shortlisting interviews have taken place today to whittle the longlist down to the final few who will face Bradford West members at the selection meeting tomorrow.

The names on the shortlist (as we understand it) are:

Shaukat Ali – Ali is a councillor for St Thomas’s Ward in Dudley, where he’s the Deputy Leader of the Labour Group and the main opposition spokesperson for Regeneration. He’s also a candidate for Labour’s NEC.

Ralph Berry– A long-serving local councillor in the neighbouring Bradford South constituency, Berry has considerable experience in local government. He went to university in Bradford, and is currently the lead member for Education on the council. He lived for 6 years in Manningham, and was election agent, Ward secretary and Bradford West Treasurer. He has close family links to the area, and his wife Cllr Gill Thornton was born in Manningham.

Rupa Huq– Former Ealing Deputy Mayoress Dr Rupa Huq is so far the first female candidate we’ve heard associated with the selection. Huq is a lecturer at Kingston University and has plenty of electoral experience, having been a candidate in the 2004 European Parliamentary elections and the PPC for Chesham and Amersham in 2005.

Imran Hussain – Cllr Imran Hussain represents Toller Ward in Bradford West and is Deputy Leader of Bradford Council. Imran was born, raised and has lived in Bradford West all his life. For the last 10 years he has been Chair of Bradford West Constituency Party and joined the Labour Party at 17. He qualified as a barrister at the Honourable Society of Lincolns Inn, London and, from 2003, worked mainly as a criminal defence lawyer. Imran also played a key role in ensuring that the English Defence League demonstration in Bradford in August 2010 was contained and ran a high visibility public campaign against the EDL. Imran is supported by all 12 of his Cllr colleagues in Bradford West.

Afzal Khan – Born in poverty in Pakistan, Khan was brought to the UK aged 12, leaving school without qualifications and working in a cotton mill, then later as a police constable, before returning to education and qualifying as a solicitor. Afzal entered party politics in 2000, becoming Manchester’s youngest, and first Asian, Lord Mayor in 2005. Khan is an active member of GMB and Unite; has also run campaigns with Unison and Usdaw, particularly on anti-racism work, and was awarded a CBE in 2008 for services to community and interfaith relations and to local government. He was mooted as a potential by-election candidate in Oldham 15 months ago.

Fadel Takrouri – Of Palestinian origin, Takrouri’s career started in Nuclear Physics. In the mid 1990s he moved from Physics to Business; delivering health services to more than 60,000 people. He’s worked extensively with social enterprises that have a focus on community cohesion and economic regeneration – currently he serves as a director of a housing association and is the Chairman of the British Arab Federation of the West Midlands.

Simon Young – A former office manager to retired Keighley MP Anne Cryer and current shadow cabinet member Mary Creagh, Young lives in the neighbouring seat of Calder Valley.  He now work throughout the Yorkshire & Humberside region for Bradford based Yorkshire Water, offering advice on political engagement, and is a member of the Cooperative Party, Unite and the GMB.

And don’t forget to check back to see who has been selected.

  • Bradfordian2

    First round win for Imran Hussain it is then.

  • Andrea Parma

    Not a particularly short shortlist :-)

    I wait for the profiles as there’s more than a Shaukat Ali in the Labour Party.

  • Brumanuensis

    Apologies for pre-empting  you Mark, but those interested in Simon Young:

    (I have no connexion to Simon Young. His was the only name I didn’t recognise, so I went foraging).  

    • James Hepplestone
      A more up-to-date link for Simon. He’s one for websites…

      • Brumanuensis


  • Ed Murphy

    Gender balance there then..

    • Bradforddave

       I think it’ll work in Rupa’s favour as some of the electorate will want to vote for a women

      • Ed Murphy

        Why have we not had AWS in any recent by elections?

        • Chilbaldi

           Hopefully the leadership has got sick of them.

      • Dan

        Not wishing to tell anybody who to vote for but Rupa was one of the people to encourage me to become more actively involved in Ealing a few years ago. I’d be uncomfortable with people classifying her as a beneficiary of AWS as she’s a fantastic candidate in her own right. Intelligent, personable, terrific on the doorstep and a real asset to the Labour Party

        • ThePurpleBooker

          Wouldn’t it be better if she contested Ealing Central and Acton at the next election, so that Imran Hussain could be the candidate for Bradford West.

          • Dan

            Putting aside the fact that it won’t be Ealing Central and Acton at the next election, Rupa’s decided to go for this seat and been shortlisted. If she were to win the selection, I’m sure she’d be a good candidate. I don’t know Imran Hussain and am not from Bradford – my entry into the thread was simply to correct any idea that Rupa’s only made the list because she’s a woman.

          • ThePurpleBooker

            I think it will be Ealing Central and Acton, because I doubt the boundary changes will go through. 
            The Liberal Democrats are trying to block it and the Tories will not allow Lords reform get through and Iain Duncan Smith has warned the Prime Minister to drop the changes because his safe seat will be abolished, and replaced with two marginal seats in East London which Labour is guaranteed to take at the next election, for several reasons apart from the political climate.  Also, if Cameron presses ahead with it, he will face another mass rebellion – bigger than EU referendum – which will risk his leadership, so he won’t do it.
            But Ealing Central and Acton, or Ealing if the changes get through, I think she will be an excellent candidate for that seat.

  • Cllr S Finlay

    Still awaiting an answer as to when this seat was open to Labour Party members to be considered for selection.

    • Bradforddave

       Any Labour Party member could apply (although I think you have to be a member for a year) The NEC longlisted the applicants by CV and then interviewed them today to produce the shortlist above which members in Bradford West get to choose from.

      This is a different procedure for by election normal selections have their own rules. But basically any member can put themselves forward for selection.

      • Amber Star

        My son was proposed for selection in an Edinburgh Council by-election. At the end of the day, there was a better candidate for the council ward but my son’s name remains on the register of Party members eligible for selection. He was sent information about the Bradford West seat becoming vacant within hours of it being announced. He has been sent similar invitations to apply for every by-election seat since he passed ‘vetting’.

        And we have no ‘special connections’ in the Party whatsoever, so I think it’s safe to assume that all the other potential candidates, throughout the UK, were sent the same info. which he received.

  • sceptic

    Looking through his twitter feed it seems Simon Young is very much from the right of the party.

    • AlanGiles

      What depresses me these days is the identikit CV’s which almost invariably include the words “I was the first member of my family to go university” plus the obligatory reference to “fairness” Mr Young scores points for both these compulsory statements.

      I really wish we could have a ban on the word “fairness” unless the person writing it gives a very clear indication of their definition of “fairness”. That and “I came into politics to make a difference” are two of the most hackneyed cliches of recent times.

  • nottinghampaul

    Ralph Berry would make an excellent candidate for Bradford West. Hardworking, eloquent, knowledgeable & a tireless advocate for all. He would certainly have my vote if I still lived in the constituency.

  • Rachel Danae Stalker

    I got sent stuff on applying to be a candidate in Bradford West. I thought all party members did. I was on the Future Candidates Programme so it might have been a targeted mailing…

  • derek

    I don’t think we’ve got this selection process right, in fact Blair dismantled the local branches in favour of selective candidates? take the West lothian case of  Tony Kinder, an exceptional politicians and ex-councillor who had the ability too deliver and was an exceptional speaker over-looked because of Blair’s selective process.

    Labour has lost it’s way in the selection programme, things got so bad that local activist were over-looked from campaigning as the party would bring in selected campaigners from HQ. get on message? who’s message?

    • dave stone

      How else can an unpopular and lack-lustre elite perpetuate their control of the party? The message is in the maneuver.

  • ThePurpleBooker

    I think there are some very promising candidates who stood to become Labour’s candidate in Bradford West some of which will be extremely impressive. As I have said all along, Imran Hussain is the best man for THIS seat in particular but there are some great names who should make it into the Commons:
    Mohammed Afzal Khan should definately be Labour’s candidate for Manchester Central, when Tony Lloyd becomes a Police and Crime Commissioner.
    Dr Rupa Huq is also very impressive and should become an MP, but I should think she should go for Ealing Central and Acton –  a seat Labour needs to take.
    Simon Young also seems quite good and I respect he goes for Bradford East – a seat we’ll easily take – or Calder Valley which is a going to be a challenge, but one we can definately achieve. But I’m looking forward to knowing who is going for Lincoln, Bedford, Waveney and Hendon which should be top priorities right now.

  • Taffas_a_gandoo

    What is this, a list of jokers!!!! Imran Hussain is never seen or heard of apart from when it is election time. One would have thought that the Labour party would distance itself from tribal/clan politics – the type that Imran Hussain engages in. After all it is this type of politics that has been repeatedly shown to be linked with corruption and bribery. Mr Hussain has corruption and bully power on side.  It was after all a family member that was caught and convicted of drugs trafficking that has now served his time and is now backing Mr Hussain – a well known fact in Bradford.
    What possible credentials or achievements has the Labour party seen in Mr Hussain that warrant his selection. What has he done for the Toller ward during his time as a councillor – higher taxes, greater poverty, greater corruption. The fact that he is a barrister is neither here nor there.  six of the councillors backing him are either family members, first or second cousins who have bullied others into backing him. If this is not tribal/clan politics, I do not know what is. I say wake up Labour, get people who can speak for and represent the constituents in parliament and not tribal/clans people who have at best muddy hands. 


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