Rotherham by-election shortlist announced

12th November, 2012 4:35 pm

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.”

  • Kokopops

    Just two?

  • Kokopops

    Is Sophie Gardner, the same as Sophy Gardner who was on the shortlist for the Feltham and Heston By-election 2012 (won by Seema Malhotra).

    Sarah Champion – is she the same person:

  • michaelcollins10

    I’m fairly certain it’s Sophy.

  • Robbie Scott

    A very short short list …

  • Daniel Filson

    Is that it? A hospice CEO and a former Wing Commander? I think the selection committee may feel they have not been given a sufficient choice and should revolt.

    • Colin Adkins

      Daniel it is short shortlist because there are two not because of what they do or did.

  • Mike Homfray

    Does the party think that only ex-military candidates are acceptable in former mining towns?

  • Daniel Speight

    This points to a problem with the AWA it seems. Yet again no working class candidates.

  • ibby

    What happened to ‘refounding labour’? Where are the local candidates?

  • Chilbaldi

    The problems of the current AWS system are clear to see here.

  • James Jacobs

    No Mahroof Hussain? He will be disappointed.

  • Labour member

    It’s a by-election. Therefore it’s not an all-women shortlist (AWS – where only women are *allowed* to apply), just a shortlist with only women on. Sometimes women who apply are great and men are rubbish, so only women end up on the shortlist. That appears to have happened on this occasion.

    As to why only two people were shortlisted in total – that I don’t know.

  • dave stone

    From the Rotheram Politics website:

    “for those whom still carry the [membership] card they have to select a candidate not of their choosing, award them a safe seat for life and tomorrow go out into the cold and rain to deliver election material…

    Mugs every one of them!”

    • Daniel Filson

      It is not a safe seat for life, as D McShane found out.

  • Dave Postles

    ‘This is Rotherham':

    Simon Charlesworth, A Phenomenology of Working-Class Experience (CUP, 1999) (get past the sociology and perceive the immense deprivation and desperation).

  • Barbara Boyce

    They may be looking for a clean break, which is understandable, but surely there should be stronger links and empathy with deprived Yorkshire communities? And two is not enough choice. Personally I’m uncomfortable with the tendency towards ex-military Labour candidates.

  • Daniel Filson

    But you need to give the selection committee a choice, and two non-local candidates does not constitute sufficient choice, as many members at the selection conference seem to think and so agree with me.

  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    I accidentally clicked on “dislike” when aiming for “reply”. I don’t dislike Barbara’s comment, but did want to ask how and why you see a tendency for ex-military candidates? As far as I can see, there is Dan Jarvis who it seems to me is a very thoughtful and conscientious MP, but are there very many others? Well, there is Eric Joyce, but he to me is not so much an ex-forces MP as a dangerously violent drunk-ard who should no longer be there at all.

    On a broader perspective, our armed forces have some deep roots into our society, and our society has generally an empathy with what they do for us, separating individual service from unpopular policy that sends them into some danger. I do. To me, it is important that Labour has among the representatives in Westminster people who can understand and articulate the voice of our volunteer forces, just as much as other public service groups, if they are also assiduous constituency MPs.

  • Pingback: The Rotherham debacle: time to reform selections | Left Futures()


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