The shortlist has been announced for the Rotherham by-election selection. The candidates for the Labour nomination are:
– Sarah Champion is the Chief Exec of Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, a role she has held since 2008. Before that she was chief executive of the Chinese Arts Centre in Manchester for 12 years.
– Sophy Gardner is a former RAF Wing Commander, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. She was also in charge of RAF transport and refuelling assets during the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Afghanistan operations 2001-2, for which she was awarded the MBE. She’s an advocate for Labour Friends of the Forces, and runs her own communications strategy consultancy. Gardner was shortlisted for Feltham and Heston.
The selection meeting is tomorrow.
Update: We’ve spoken to a Labour source tonight who had this to day about the selection:
“This is a clean-break by-election. It is important that we have the best possible candidate to deal with the exceptional circumstances in which this by-election is taking place.”