Gloucester CLP select their PPC

20th April, 2013 1:47 pm

Gloucester Labour Party met today to select their candidate for 2015. Congratulations to the winning candidate, Sophy Gardner, and commiserations to the other shortlisted candidates. Here’s a brief biography for Sophy:

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 previously shortlisted for the Feltham and Heston and Rotherham selections.

It is worth noting that Gardner was selected from an Open Shortlist – breaking the recent bad run for female candidates in such selections.


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  • Amber_Star

    “It is worth noting that Gardner was selected from an Open Shortlist”… & worth noting that the woman who will represent Labour in South Shields was chosen from an Open Shortlist too. Do you think we may, at last, be getting somewhere?

    • Chilbaldi

      Dont forget South Shields was won by a woman from an open shortlist too.

      These examples show that Labour party members are not sexist, and can be trusted to select women where they are the best candidate.

      How many success stories like this before we finally ditch all women shortlists? And following that maybe focus on the actual real life issue in this context, which is increasing the proportion of female members in the party?

      Ps I might add congratulations to Sophy. I’ve noticed her CV from the other selections which she was unsuccessful in and thought she’d make a great candidate.

      • Brumanuensis

        “How many success stories like this before we finally ditch all women shortlists?”

        We can ditch them when 50% of the PLP is female.

        Also, two swallows does not a feminist summer make.

        • Chilbaldi

          what about the actual issue, of encouraging more women to sign up for Labour membership and become more active in the party?

      • ColinAdkins

        It is a tactical question when we ditch all women short-lists. When we do perhaps they can be replaced by Oxbridge free shortlists? Whilst there has been some progress on gender, this ‘lodge’ accounts for 25% of MPs and this number is increasing.

        • Wanzle

          Why would you want Oxbridge-free short-lists? There are Oxbridge graduates who came from very disadvantaged backgrounds and who did brilliantly to get in. Would you want to exclude them? If your issue is with financial privilege in education, wouldn’t it make more sense to have state school only short lists?

          We in the Labour party need to get over our anti-Oxbridge issues – it makes us look anti-achievement and anti-excellence, which of course is how the Tories want us to look.

  • Brilliant! Gloucester have bagged themselves a fantastic candidate. No doubt in my mind that Sophy will go on to win in 2015.

  • NT86

    Sounds like a very good candidate. She joins a number of promising PPC’s who’ve already been chosen. Hope she does well in 2015!

    PS was Parmjit Dhanda in the running for selection in this seat, by any chance?

    • No, he hasn’t applied. The 2 other people on the shortlist were David Purchase and Keir Dhillon.

  • Brumanuensis

    Congratulations to Sophy. She seems an excellent candidate.

  • I remember reading about her from her previous bids, glad she found a place. Leadership experience, ex-forces, a businessperson, plus one seat closer to a gender-balanced parliament if she gets in – a shining example of how we can improve our selection practices and get a balance of experience in the PLP. She’s actually almost pretty close to Dan Hodges’ sarcastic “working-class, female former submarine commander who’s now running your own dotcom start-up”, funnily enough.

  • rotherhamgirl

    Email sent by Phil Gaskin, the Labour Party South West Regional Director, says :

    “I also wish to restate the decision of the National Executive Committee (NEC) that the Number 1 position for The Labour Party in the South West will automatically be allocated to a woman.”

    So no sexism in Labour at all.

    • Pelton Level

      No more sexist than the requirement that the number 2 position will automatically be allocated to a man? They just don’t trust us!

  • ken

    congratulations Sophy now we can give Graham the sack, Gloucesters worse MP ever


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