As Louise Mensch resigns – Introducing Labour’s candidate for Corby

August 6, 2012 9:54 am

As Louise Mensch sensationally resigns having been an MP for just two years (managing to distract the Westminster village from the Olympics for a few moments), we thought it might be a good chance to take a look at the Labour and Co-op candidate for Corby – Andy Sawford.

35 year old Sawford was born and grew up locally, the son and grandson of Corby steelworkers. Educated at a local comprehensive school, he then went to Durham University where he gained a degree in history. Andy came back to work in Corby for the former MP, Phil Hope before running a small business and eventually becoming the chief executive of the Local Government Information Unit.

Recent campaigns run by Andy in Corby include attempts to save the Children’s heart surgery unit at Glenfield – which could find itself at the heart of the by-election campaign. The Tory majority in Corby is just 1951…

The by-election date is likely to be November 15th, co-inciding with PPC elections, by-elections in Manchester and Cardiff and the Mayoral election in Bristol. People are already calling it “Super Thursday”…

(We’re hoping to hear from Andy soon with his thoughts on the race – so stay tuned)

  • Robbie Scott

    Fantastic it’s about time we had some by-elction excitement! Good luck :) 

  • John Ruddy

    I didnt realise there would be a by-election. This is exactly the sort of test Labour needs. A chance to overturn a Tory majority….

    • Kulgan of Crydee

      An easy win for Labour.  A shame it will not be more of a test.

  • Jack Bonner

    Andy sounds like a great local candidate and wish him well for the campaign ahead, it should be a thriller 

    • Robbie Scott

      which  makes a nice change! 

    • Mr Chippy

      Jack I understand the appeal of local candidates but people are a lot more mobile these days. If Londoners went for local candidates most of the sitting MPs would have to find new seats. I think your roots should be a consideration but not the sole one.

      • Jack Bonner

        I think local candidates are very important- what’s better than someone who went to the same college as me, knows what used to be on a site before Lidl popped up, or knows what I mean when I use an affectionate slang term for a particular place in town? I think people like having someone from the area, that is not to discount others, but I don’t want a Westminster hack who knows nothing about my town

        • Mr Chippy

          Jack I understand the sentiment but I would prefer an effective advocate for the constituency.

          This is partly personal. My Dad comes from Balham my Mum from Woolwich. I was born in Germany (my Dad was a soldier) I  then lived in Canterbury, Wembley, Edgeware, Germany, Ballykinlar, Tidworth, Wimbledon, Morden, Colchester, Wivenhoe, Balham, Harlesden, Willesden, Streatham and now Wrexham. Where would you suggest is a local seat I could aspire to?

          In my job as a trade union official I represent members regardless of their origin.  My origins are no inhibition in carrying this role out. In fact I am told I represent Welsh workers rather well.

          Northerners often refer to Westminster hacks. However, being a Londoner I see seats taken by northerners and celts. Quite clearly where someone happened to be born is not as relevant for Londoners or more controversially it could be said some believe northern seats are for northerners, London seats are for everyone including northerners!

          I am with you though in opposing the self-congratulatory route of Oxbridge, SpAd, parachuting into safe Labour seat by party centre. 

  • Amber Star

    Do you think Andy can beat Boris, if he stands? This is really exciting!

    • John Ruddy

      Boris wont stand in Corby. Too great a chance of loosing.

      • Amber Star

        I’ll be calling him ‘Boris the Bottler’, if he doesn’t.

        • DanFilson

          Boris may be a buffoon, but even he realises that winning a by-election (which with bezazz, he could conceivably do) would be made worthless if he then lost the seat at the following general election owing to the growing unpopularity of the Tories. He’ll go for either Mark Field’s or Sir Malcolm Rifkind’s seats of Cities of London & Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea respectively, assuming the sitting MPs are willing to stand aside which is by no means certain. Or Sir George Young’s seat in Hampshire. The boldest seat to run for would be Ken Clarke’s in Nottinghamshire, again assuming he would stand aside, which given their respective political positions is highly unlikely (“over my dead body” I can hear Clarke saying, and it might come to that). If Boris is to win an election as party leader, trying to do so from a seat north of Watford might demonstrate national appeal whereas a cosy South-east seat shows their appeal is only o the rich and comfortable.

          • treborc

             He’s now stated he’s a London person with a great job already, he’s not going to stand end of story.

          • ThePurpleBooker

            I think you are wrong. The seats lined up for Boris are Mole Valley, Reigate and Croydon South (possibly Orpington). However, two anonymous Tory MPs have said they will stand down to allow Boris to return to Parliament. Nottinghamshire is too far, Hampshire is too far, Rifkind and Field are going nowhere (especially now the boundary changes have been blocked, which’ll have merged their seats into one). He will remain Mayor of London until nearer the election and therefore he has to be in or near to London which’ll mean Croydon South is his best shot. Also, Richard Ottoway is stepping down but Reigate Conservative Association are trying to oust out Crispin Blunt because he’s gay in favour of Bo Jo.

        • David

          Amber you have written similar things in other threads, but I fear the “Westminster Village” chat may have overtaken reality here.  To stand a) for a marginal, b) for the first by-election that comes along, c) for a job with a shorter horizon than his current job (given a) particularly) and d) while it is unclear that Tory Party would accept his leadership, and e) without any evidence that such leadership could reverse the current Tory poll trend, would be little short of lunacy.

          To call such a decision a “bottle” really would stretch credulity.

        • ThePurpleBooker

          He has just been reelected Mayor of London.

      • treborc

        Boris would not stand in this seat, nor would Blair it’s not safe enough for either, not that either would want to stand.

        I suspect Boris is mixing it a bit warning Cameron I will be waiting, it’s the same with Tony I suspect he’s back because nobody has asked him to be a lord yet, it would add something to his CV.

  • Andy Tinkler

    His dad’s a nice bloke.  I knew him when he was MP for Kettering.

  • Dave

    I’m sure Andy will make a great MP. He sounds intelligent and committed to the local area, and I hope Labour wins the election. That said, the nepotism of it all annoys me mightily. His dad used to be the MP of the neighbouring constituency. Why does it always have to be this way? Couldn’t we for once select someone without connections to the inner circle? 

    • John Ruddy

      Why are some people never satisfied? A hard working local guy, who’s dad and grandad used to work at the local steel mill isnt good enough?

      • Mr Chippy

        The point is clumsily put over but still valid.  Many walks of life appear to have a ‘kith and kin’ approach – TV, acting, journalism. I remember Benn the man who gave a hereditary peerage resigned from Parliament when his son got a seat. Anyway I am sure he is very good and I hope he wins.

    • Desboroughboy

      Sorry Dave but your point is invalid. He was selected as the candidate by the members of the local party in a tightly fought selection process. Nepotism has nothing to do with this. His selection was on his own merits as a candidate. His father was not even eligible to vote for him as he belongs to a different branch of the party. There are no connections to the inner circle. His experience has been gained by himself working for former MP’s and in his current roles at the LGIU. He has strong ties to the local area as apart from a brief spell he has always lived near the constituency. Both his father and grandfather worked at the steelworks in Corby before redundancies following thatchers privitasation. He is a local guy who will be a great mp for Corby and east northants. .

  • John Ruddy

    I know Andy slightly from his work at the LGiU. I didnt realise his Labour connections. I’m sure he will be an excellent MP.

  • KathyB

    Sounds just what the electorate of Corby need – a local man with connections to the history through steelworks in place of the media-loving Mensch.

    Good luck Andy – knock ‘em dead !

    • treborc

      Yes but a bit different from your dad working down a mine to say your son who has come out of University.

      I’m sure somewhere in Cameron’s history his family have owned a cleaning company or had shares in one, does not mean Cameron’s any good with a Hoover.

  • Hamish

    This is a must-win for Labour, but it may not be a shoo-in.
     There will be dirty tricks and mischief making aplenty, so let’s hope the candidate is as solid as he appears.

    • dave stone

      Labour will win it – there’s nearly 8,000 LibDem votes with nowhere else to go.

      It should be an irresistible opportunity for UKIP to test themselves against the Tories – come on Nigel!

      • aracataca

        Yes my wife has just mentioned this to me. Looks like a dead certainty. Corby itself is solidly Labour but the outlying rural part of the constituency is very Tory-Enter UKIP please.

  • Bob

    It will be no great surprise if Mensch ends up working for Murdoch:

    • aracataca

      The nation mourns as it bids Adieu to one of the world’s finest minds since Plato.

      • Brumanuensis

        Nay, Socrates.

        • aracataca

          I dunno did Socrates have a finer mind than Plato or Mensch? The jury’s out on that one.

          • Brumanuensis

            Plato perhaps.

  • Sid

    Louise had lovely breasts; I will miss her for those.

    • David


      • Sid

        Inappropriate? Are the only boobs we’re allowed to mention on LabourList David Cameron and George Osborne? What is the world coming to?

  • ianrobo

    She will soon be on Fox News from New York showing where he real loyalities lay.

    Another victory for Tom Watson ?

    • ianrobo

       Also wonder who might be bankrolling her competitior for Twitter ?

  • 000a000

    He sounds like a decent guy, but this will never be less relevant. Labour could put a monkey up and it would be elected.

  • 000a000

    The worst result for Labour would be a landslide victory here – might wake Tories up.

  • Mr Chippy

    How long before Mensch gets a lucrative position on the board of News International?

  • Chris

    Good luck to him. Sounds like a nice guy. But anyone who talks of easy victories has never fought a tight by-election – and the tories will not rollover and die!

  • Mike Homfray

    Excellent locally rooted candidate. His father was an outstanding grassroots MP who held a natural Tory seat against the odds

    • ThePurpleBooker

      He is also a moderate.

  • Mark

    I bet the Murdoch Mafia made Mensch an offer that she couldn’t refuse.

  • Alan Giles

    Louise Mensch resigns: a nation mourns, but not, it appears Corby, as even the Evening Standard has to acknowledge:

  • NT86

    Andy sounds like a really good pair of hands. This by-election is a potential turning point for Labour in its fightback nationally. Having seen Louise Mensch in the spotlight for the last year I was initially impressed with how articulate she is, but then realised what a self-obsessed sycophant she is. The defence of the Murdoch’s and several pretty annoying TV appearances.

    All the best to Mr Sawford!!

  • Brumanuensis

    Seems like a thoroughly decent candidate with good local connections. Here’s hoping for by-election gold in November.

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