There were a number of Labour PPCs selected over the weekend as the selection process for 2015 continues to heat up. There were two selections on the same day in Brighton, one in Warrington – and the candidate for Labour’s No.1 target seat was selected.
North Warwickshire and Bedworth – the party’s No.1 target seat chose their PPC on Saturday, and former MP Mike O’Brien was (re)selected on Saturday to try and reclaim the seat for Labour. He lost out in 2010 by just 54 votes, so it would take an incredibly small swing to put him back into Parliament. O’Brien has remained active in local politics since 2010, acting as an agent in the council elections in Bedworth last year. He is a QC and over the last three years has built up a successful practice specializing in civil law at barrister’s chambers in Birmingham. He’s a former Minister in the Home Office, the Foreign Office, Pensions and he was twice Minister for Energy. Assuming he’s re-elected – which looks likely – that experience could come in handy.
Warrington South – slightly further down the list at target seat no.22, Nick Bent was selected by a huge margin, picking up along 90% of first preference votes in Saturday’s selection. Nick is 41 and lives in Great Sankey. Born in nearby Altrincham, Nick currently works for an education charity he co-founded in Manchester, the Tutor Trust. He serves as Chair of Governors at the Oasis Academy MediaCityUK in Salford and on the General Assembly of the University of Manchester – and spent seven years working in Westminster and Whitehall, including as a Special Adviser to former Labour Culture Secretary and Olympics Minister, Dame Tessa Jowell MP.
Hove – In the first of two Brighton selections this weekend, Peter Kyle was selected by Hove members. He’s the Deputy CEO of Acevo (where he has worked for more than six years) and the chairman of governors at the Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA). Kyle helped run Labour candidate Celia Barlow’s campaign for the seat in 2005 – no doubt he’ll need to draw on that experience as he seeks to overturn the Tory majority in Labour’s 28th target seat.
Meanwhile in Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven – Labour’s 25th target seat – Nancy Platts was selected as Labour’s candidate for 2015. Platts lost out to Caroline Lucas in 2010 in Brighton’s other parliamentary constituency Pavillion, but since then she has campaigned in Brighton and Hove by-elections and encouraged activists from her campaign to stay involved in the local party. Platts has worked for most of her life in the public and charity sectors, and received strong backing from several affiliated trade unions, as well as the support of all wards in the constituency.
Congratulations to the successful candidates and commiserations to those shortlisted candidates who were unsuccessful.
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