Sarah Champion selected in Rotherham

13th November, 2012 8:51 pm

After yesterday’s shortlisting, Labour members in Rotherham have this evening selected the party’s candidate for the upcoming by election. Sarah Champion and Sophy Gardner were the shortlisted candidates – with Sarah winning on the night. However the selection wasn’t without controversy – with members walking out in protest at the shortlist. Here’s a brief biography of Sarah:

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.

Congratulations to Sarah and commiserations to Sophy. The election will take place on November 29th.

Update: Champion has responded to her selection with the following statement:

“I’m proud to have been chosen to be the Labour Party candidate to become Rotherham’s next MP. I promise I’ll always put Rotherham first and be a strong voice for the fantastic people of this town, standing up for them against this utterly out of touch Tory-led government. It’s not fair that working families and pensioners in Rotherham are being hit hard while at the same Cameron and Osborne are dishing out a huge tax cut for millionaires.”

“With my work at the Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice I’ve worked with many people from across Rotherham. Our next MP needs to be someone who will fight for a fairer deal – a fair deal on energy prices, no unfair hike in fuel duty, and someone who can help bring jobs and investment to this town.”

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  • Do you have voting figures? More than how each of them got, it’s interesting to see how many voted.

  • According to Susan Press on Twitter @susanhebden: Apparently only 27 votes cast in #Rotherham and over 100!Party members walked out in disgust . Surely there must be a re -run ? #Rotherham

    • londoner

      What did Sarah Champion learn when she was a Graduate of Common Purpose Matrix Level?

  • Latest update on Twitter : @anteggs49: @PeterKenyon @susanhebden 29 voted 13-11. 5 spoiled …
    #labourstitchup

  • Crewe Stokie

    This all seems to be so “other” than the way the PPC in Crewe and Nantwich has recently been selected. No mention on Labour List for such an iconic seat by the way. I know if during the terrific selection process, someone from London had said you have to have someone other than Adrian (or any of the other candidates) I would have resigned my membership immediately. Rotherham’s selection (on the face of it which matters in politics) seems to me to be very wrong.

  • Daniel Speight

    So does the NEC feel sorry for Respect? They are going out of their way
    to help them it seems. The party can talk about democracy until the cows
    come home, but until it allows local parties the decision making
    authority and responsibility it is just that, talk.

    Shame on the NEC for what they have done in Rotherham and shame on Sarah Champion for being part of this stitch-up.

  • AlanGiles

    ” 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”

    “With my work at the Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice I’ve worked with many people from across Rotherham.”

    This woman sounds like a butterfly. After her passion for Chinese art became exhausted, she moved on to terminally ill children, a very worthy cause, now she abandons that to try to become MP because she has worked with “many people”. We have all worked with many people, that, in itself, is not a guarantee of a good MP.

    She sounds the typical administrator, hitching up her skirts to leap aboard the next bandwaggon. I am sure she will be ideal voting fodder – one of the “I can be anything you want me to be” brigade.

  • Bloody hell, as much as I abhor the lamentable process that has led Sarah Champion to be selected (it stinks to high heaven), any personal slurs against her are completely out of order unless backed up with evidence – and I don’t see any. On the shortlisting process, well, all those thoughts about how things had improved of late seem to have died a death with this one. I for one want to hear the Labour Party central command come out with more than vague innuendo to justify it. Whatever reasons there were for stitching it up like this, we deserve to at least hear them and judge for ourselves. If there are bad practices locally, reveal them and fight for what is right.

    • AlanGiles

      Ben – the only “slur” I would make about her, if slur it is, is that she is yet another pen-pusher with big ambitions. Perhaps I am old fashioned, but I should have thought if you cared so deeply about art, you would have stayed in that field, however, having found a vocation with gravelly ill children four years ago, she is ready to move on to yet more pastures new.

      Hopefully, unlike Nadine Dorries, she will not be finding herself a “show-biz agent” as reported in the press yesterday.

      I just feel that this short list like the Norwich one, which was also an “all woman” one might make outsiders think there is a paucity of good women candidates (which I am sure is not true) or that we ought to have a minimum number of candidates, preferably of both sexes, but as I am no longer a member of the party that is obviously nothing to do with me.

      • Hi Alan, what you are saying is basically prejudice. What do you know about her and how can you judge someone in such a cavalier way? We need good people in politics, and if she is a good person, she is fine by me. The problem is the process by which she has got the candidacy. But I see no obvious reason to blame that on her. Even assuming she is playing the system, it is the system and those that administer it that deserve blame (though I even have some sympathy with them given the back room pressures that must be going on there). Ultimately, the party suffers from from all of this. The powers that be act in a way that alienates ordinary members and ordinary people.

        • But she has been complicit in the denial of fair process.

          It’s like receiving stolen goods – the person who benefits by possession is considered complicit in the theft. And she benefits by possession of the candidacy.

          No fair-minded person would take advantage of such a stitch up.
          Though I expect a whole regiment of feverishly ambitious, London approved stealth candidates will now be gleefully strapping on their parachutes in readiness to stick two fingers up to Labour Party members.

          • Yes, fair point Dave. Maybe I am too forgiving of those with ambition, but it reminds me of an email exchange I had with Stella Creasy, who was angry at me for writing an article questioning (in strong terms) All Women Shortlists. She basically defended them on the basis of her being selected on that basis. Now I don’t think that is a justification, but on the other hand I think she has been a terrific force in other ways since she got into Parliament.

            This is the real world, and people take advantage of the advantages given to them. It is unfortunate but justified that we question them on that basis, but it doesn’t mean they should be tainted as people forever. No one is perfect.

            That is one of the main reasons I oppose AWS and other crude positive discrimination – there is always this air and reality of unfairness around them which has some very negative unforeseen/foreseen consequences. Democracy is a fair way of going about things in my view, and it pains me that so many on our side of the fence treat it with such casual contempt.

        • aracataca

          ‘ how can you judge someone in such a cavalier way?’

          Unfortunately that’s what he does Ben.

        • aracataca

          ‘ how can you judge someone in such a cavalier way?’

          Unfortunately that’s what he does Ben.

          • AlanGiles

            Anything you say, William. After all, that is something you are NEVER guilty of! 🙂

  • At least it was more democratic than the Chinese Communist Party Congress…

  • I know nothing about this candidate.

    However, I think the way she was selected was unacceptable. I think anyone with a shred of either integrity or common sense will realise this.

    Therefore, I call upon Sarah Champion to win some respect by doing the right thing.

    1. Standing down as candidate
    2. Calling for a re-run of the entire process, allowing the shortlist to include those who the local party wish to be on the list

    Unless she does this, then how can she be regarded as placing integrity above her personal career prospects?

    • Nominations close today at 4PM. There’s no time to re-run anything if Labour want to field a candidate for the by-election.

      • Isn’t that disgraceful in itself – rushing this through? I hope that someone else will then step forward to stand, because anyone selected in this way doesn’t deserve to be elected. Its simply wrong

    • londoner

      She is a Graduate of Common Purpose Matrix Level 1998/1999 look it up….

  • Chilbaldi

    This is a missed opportunity in so many ways:
    1. no good local candidates
    2. NEC didn’t parachute in a big name, into what is a safe seat for life. Instead we have one of those stitch ups which wasn’t even really worth it.

  • Chilbaldi

    This is a missed opportunity in so many ways:
    1. no good local candidates
    2. NEC didn’t parachute in a big name, into what is a safe seat for life. Instead we have one of those stitch ups which wasn’t even really worth it.

  • Brumanuensis

    Agh, this is just awful. The Party higher-ups are abusing the selection process and systematically disrespecting the local Party. How are they supposed to campaign for her now?

    • They won’t. I think they are assuming its safe enough to withstand the pressure

  • The odds are shortening on a Ridley win – down from 33/1 to 6/1 (William Hill). There’s only one option for those who want to stop interloper Sarah ’13 votes’ Champion.

    • The Muslim vote isn’t high in this seat – about 5% – but I am sure there will be absolute fury at the way this candidate was ‘selected’. I don’t know if there is anyone likely to gain the benefit of this anger other than Ridley, who isn’t local either?

  • uglyfatbloke

    So she’s a loyal careerist who has been been parachuted in…so what? The party HQ knows best and we should all be proud that we have the freedom to select whoever we are told to select!

  • Chrisso

    I would be very alarmed if the selection process used lets in the Respect candidate. LFF gives chapter and verse about Ridley here:
    http://www.leftfootforward.org/2012/11/yvonne-ridley-respect-rotherham-hamas/

    • Coming from the Zionist house website, I wouldn’t take that very seriously. In any case, Labour does itself no favours by supporting Israel and its government

  • Redshift1

    This is really a diabolical selection. A short-list of 2? What were the NEC thinking?

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