Lincoln shortlist – who’s in the running?

March 23, 2012 7:29 pm

Tomorrow Lincoln – one of the seats being selected early ahead of the 2015 selection – will choose its candidate, in an all member selection meeting. We’re expecting to hear the result at around 3pm.

But who are the candidates? Here’s the shortlist.

Rosanne Kirk – A local party member and head of the Kids Cross Safely campaign (and actively involved in the Bite the Ballot, Comprehensive Future and Drop the Bill campaigns), Rosanne Kirk may be better known to some LabourList readers by her Twitter name (@rosiecosy). She has received endorsements from two MPs (Andrew Gwynne  and Barbara Keeley) as well as former MP and Lord Jim Knight. She also has the backing of the National Union of Mineworkers.

Karen Lee – A Nurse and councillor, Karen Lee is a lifelong Lincoln resident and works at the local hospital. She previously worked on the checkout at a local supermarket, where she became a trade union shop steward, eventually putting herself through night school to gain nursing qualifications. She fought off a strong Lib Dem challenge to hold her council seat 2010 – part of a fight back by Lincoln Labour that saw them re-take the council in 2011. She’s backed by Unite, Unison, the GMB, UCATT and ASLEF.

Frances Rehal – A parish councillor, school governor and vice chair of her local party branch, Rehal is also a member of the Co-op Party and has announced her intention to run as a Labour Coop candidate if selected. She has selection process experience (having stood already in Swindon and Ipswich) and has promsied to  “look at the  Obama presidential campaign and see how those who were not engaged in politics were won over as staunch Obama supporters.” She was also recently honoured with an MBE for her contribution to services to children and families.

Lucy Rigby - An Islington Councillor, Rigby was elected in 2010 as part of a landslide council win and is currently the council’s Audit Committee chair. She also has local connections having campaigned in Lincoln when Labour took the City Council back in 2011. A lawyer by profession, she has an impressive CV – a competition lawyer by training with experience in private practice and for the Office of Fair Trading, as well as having worked internationally both in the Hague and practising EU competition law in Brussels. Rigby is said to have strong support both locally and nationally.

  • Brumanuensis

    My money – in a completely uninformed bet – is on Karen Lee. They’re all good candidates, but I hope Lucy Rigby isn’t chosen. I mean, an Islington councillor for Lincoln? Really?

    • Brumanuensis

      Although I notice Rosanne Kirk’s twitter picture is her with a ‘Spartacus Report’ logo. This instantly makes me warmly disposed towards her.

  • Jonathan Roberts

    Anyone who decides they want a different career path, and goes to nightschool after a long shift at work to build a better life for themselves, is alright by me. Karen Lee looks impressive, but they all do.

    Nice to see an AWS that is fully populated by viable candidates.  I don’t think that’s always been the way.

    • treborc

       Bit like Nye Bevan.

      Yes if I was voting I would say Ms Lee, think we have enough Lawyers and barrister and accountants for a while. Ms Kirk looks to be fair choice as well.

      Lets hope the parachutes  from the leaders office is put away.

  • Jennyleery

    First I’ve heard of this selection and most the candidates. Only met Karen Lee and I can’t say I was impressed. Rude, aggressive and in your face – I felt like personal space was invaded – and wasn’t remotely interested in what I had to say. If Lincoln want to lose then go for it, but otherwise they might want to have a rethink. Local isn’t always best so look at the rest.

  • Joe

    Lucy Rigby – ‘a lawyer by profession’. Another potential lawyer candidate after the selection of a barrister in Bradford. Labour’s claim to empathise with working-class people will go (further) down the plug-hole if she is selected. 

  • John Ruddy

    I think Rosie would be a great candidate and an excellent MP. Its a good strong shortlist, but like others I am confused about the Islington lawyer.

    • treborc

      We now know why.

  • Politique

    Hello Mark,
    I am sorry to say without questioning the integrity of those that have applied and have been succesfull, it would appear that this is an all women shortlist. Whilst I believe that every body should have equality of access and equality of opportunity in applying for selection it is clear that positive discrimination is part of modern Labour policy. Merit is the key to success.

    I take the point of an earlier commentator that some representatives are consistently chosen as  parliamentary candidates due to their high status background i.e barrister, QC, lawyer, London aristicrat. Unacceptable. Many social democrat supporters are now beginning to recognise Ed Miliband ‘s small labour elite control freakery policy. It is so plain to see. The NEC should allow independent scrutiny of their selection and assessment process. You cannot have a party that preaches Equality in terms of processes, structures and selections to society when it is clear they do no practice it within the party. It is so wrong. The members of individual wards and constituencies should choose select their preferred candidate without the NEC (interference) shortlisting the candidates that senior officials in the party want. If this were to carry on this will have serious consequences on labour chances of getting elected, ever getting elected. Remember its the people that elect MP’s at the ballot box not the party. We have notably many young handpicked Edward Milibandites coming through now that are chosen because they always say YES. Is this what the party needs.

    Mark and you will know exactly where I am coming from with this next comment. You cannot have a individual leading a party who cannot relate to the British people, the working class, the middle class and as an self proclaimed Atheist, religious communities both from within his own constituency and the wider general public. There has to be question of the authenticity and judgement of the part he plays in choosing candidates. Rachel Reeves, Stephen Twigg, Chukka Ummuna et al plus barrister, QC, oxbridge elite. majors, newspaper journalists and on and on

    Quite simply the Labour is unelectable under the present guise

    Quite simply under Edward Miliband the Labour Party is unelectable. He just has not got it. This is the voice of community, public services, unions.

    • Cllr Chris Burke

      While “Politique” (what a fun name ;-) is entitled to his rant none of it remotely relates to Lincoln.  

      All of the candidates who wanted to stand made it to the short-list and they were all very good. 

      One of the candidates, Rosie, pointed out that Parliament is still hugely unrepresentative of women and that’s why we need all women lists until that’s corrected. Makes perfect sense to me. 

      All produced literature and received equal access to party events, membership etc. As a local member and councillor I received material and telephone calls from all of them despite my very public support for Karen. 

      Yesterday was a very fair and transparent selection and the LOCAL Party made a very clear and measured choice to select  Lucy Rigby whose policies include opposition to foreign adventuring such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I was very disappointed that Karen, who is an excellent community representative and deeply respected by the vast majority of the local party and Lincoln public, did not succeed. 

      That said I respect the choice of the Party, this is what democracy is all about and we have to now work with an excellent PPC who does reflect our Labour values of fairness and social justice. Lucy has campaigned in Lincoln in the past and understands the work that needs to be done to deal with the poverty, unemployment and other “inequalities” created by the real villain of this piece, the Tory led Government! As for her being an Islington Councillor and a lawyer does that mean we now discriminate against people because they are working in Islington or have had the determination to become involved in the law? (Bankers now….. – no only joking). Lucy used her knowledge of the law last year to attack the Governments stance on legal aid pointing out the severe damage to those on low or poor incomes that will now occur.  

      We already have a strong and hugely talented team in Lincoln fighting the Tories which includes Karen who via her scrutiny committee and local campaigns successfully challenges unfair decisions against the people. Ric Metcalf who has led us to victory on the City Council, Neil Murray who has headed up our economic development including the first provision of council houses in generations to name just a few. We also have an excellent team currently in opposition on the Tory blue County Council led by former County Leader Rob Parker. Lucy will join this team bringing her own talents  and we will welcome her.

      Lucy will face Tory MP Karl McCartney who believes that the whole world wide economic crisis was created solely by the last Labour Government with not a banker in sight. He was “minced” on BBC Lincolnshire on Friday (23rd) by Hull East MP Carl Turner who pointed out that his Government had to borrow £158 Billion due to their failed economic policy. He also pointed out that in the budget 14,000 people who earn a Million Pounds a year or more will gain £40k a year extra. A representative of Saga, Dr Ross Altman, had just pointed out that those receiving less that £10k will lose £250 a year. Four and a half million pensioners will be worse off. All Karl could do was repeat his briefing and when challenged on VAT for static caravans for example he was lost claiming that he did not know the full details. Even when told 1000 people in his area may lose their jobs he was still unable to comment. Karl was lost at the end (seemed to have dropped the phone) when asked to comment on the possible disappearance of support to help people stop smoking that Carl raised (its all here for a few weeks or so:

      For Politique to talk about Ed Miliband or the Party being unelectable is simply to provide the Tories with another shield now the LibDems are heading for political annihilation. As any first year student could tell you; generally oppositions don’t win elections, Governments lose them. Here in Lincoln we are going to hold this Government to account as never before and as the public begin to appreciate the huge inequalities and injustices that the Tories are creating so they will become  “unelectable”.

      • Politique

        I totally agree Chris, you have chosen the wrong candidate. There are people who talk the talk and have never walked the walk.

        Karen Lee has walked the walk but unfortunately she did not talk the talk on the evening.

        That is the sole reason why we have a Labour Leader that is unelectable.

        • Politique

          On the contrary Chris, it relates to Lincoln, Liverpool, Leeds, Doncaster, South Shields, Birmingham plus many more and everywhere else that we have HANDPICKED chosen representatives

          • Cllr Chris Burke

            I take your point about how performance can change things. Are you happy though to talk us here in Lincoln into another Tory term then. For my part, even though I may not get my first choice it does not mean I will then presume that my new candidate can not win and will not stand by her statements either. For those of us who must leave our armchairs and actually campaign; giving up at this stage is not an option. I am not disrespecting the point you make but there is a time and place for it. For Lincoln the time and place has now moved on and we move on here beyond selection and into campaigning.

          • Politique

            Thank you Chris.

            I understand the point you make. However, you are perhaps right to suggest that democracy on the night is the only tool available for the party. Having spent three hours campaigning yesterday afternoon talking to real people in the community, listening to their concerns, here is still much cynicism out there, more than I have seen for a while towards Labour.

            But you know, Chris we live in an era where some people leave their armchairs, go out campaigning, not in the interests of doing good for community, but in the interests of keeping themselves in power for other reasons. Many virtually campaign on twitter, facebook and that includes many elected officials and say what a wonderful job they have done. But the reality is they have done absolutely nothing. Twitter is full of armchair councillors who tweet to MPs and others to get themselves  in the limelight. The party needs to see through that. Virtual campaigning will not put genuine councillors and MPs in power.

            Look I am not in position to dictate to you on how you choose your candidate, however you can see by some of the contributions that Labour Party selection processes have serious flaws in them. Many contributors have expressed their views. Many community members who are not Labour members but supporters are put of by what they see as a take over by aliens, that is university whizz kids, oxbridge elite and lawyers.

            Chris, I read an article by Mary Riddell interviewing Ed Miliband. In the content of that interview it related to Mr Miliband’s attachment to a LOCAL curry house that he visits regular. He is in entitled to that.

            However the local curry house he visits is in London, not Doncaster. He regards local as London. His children will go to school in London. Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper the same. An MP relationship with local should be their own constituency. He fails to grasp that. They fail to grasp. Members are becoming very cynical, which leads to apathy.

          • Politique

            One other. Chris I spoke to an elderly lady recently who worked in a building for a number of years. The building housed an MP constituency office. For the purpose of this explanation the person will remain anonymous.  She said to me she was happy in her job. The conversation continued. I then asked her what she thought of her local MP, bearing in mind she had been working in this building for years. Oh she says I don’t know, I have only seen the MP twice, the MP only comes up from London on a Friday. You can imagine the look on my face.

            The point is Chris  if MPs don’t reside in their constituency, they don’t see people, they don’t see people who they would expect to see.

            But read twitter it is all rosy.

            This MP is very prominent. Please explain that one Chris.

            Will your candidate travel up on a Friday, live in London.

            Local candidates live locally.

  • Politique

    However If I were to choose a candidate from the four it would have to be Karen Lee. No more lawyers and parachuted MP’s please, particularly from Islington. She is the perfect candidate to represent Labour in Lincoln.

  • John Ruddy

    Lucy Rigby has been selected, I hear.

    Not sure an Islington Lawyer will be the best candidate for this seat.

    • treborc

       She will fit right in with the other upper middle class careerist who seem to get the positions now within Newer labour.

      • David Talbot

        Is there any topic you’re not incredibly bitter about, Treborc?

        • treborc

          No not bitter what’s the use of being bitter over politicians squabbling over whether they are New labour or Newer labour.

          Disappointed that people see University as the main qualification to be an MP and how groups of MP travel around the country looking for a seat.

          In Wales we are hearing the battle is coming to get Peter Hain into a safe seat since he will not have a seat, so somebody will have to fall on his/her sword.

          Bitter no, not at all whether labour is out of power or in power makes little difference to me mate, I disabled.  I was Never ever New labour, unlike some

        • John Ruddy

          No, there isnt.


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