Four names have made it onto the shortlist for the Labour selection in the Heywood and Middleton by-election, with a hustings followed by a vote determining the candidate tomorrow night.
The four candidates are:
Kailash Chand – Chand, from Tameside, is a GP and deputy chair of the British Medical Association (BMA), and was awarded an OBE for services to the NHS and healthcare.
Liz McInnes – McInnes is a councillor in Rossendale, works as a healthcare scientist and is a Unite union rep.
Miriam O’Reilly – O’Reilly is a television presenter best known for her work on BBC One’s Countryfile. In 2011, she successfully sued the BBC for age discrimination after being dropped from the programme.
Byron Taylor – Taylor has been the National Officer of the Trade Union and Labour Party Liaison Organisation (TULO) since 2002, and is deputy leader of the Labour group on Basildon Council.
Some party members have apparently raised concerns about the lack of “local” candidates on the list, despite several local councillors putting their names forward. The Manchester Evening Press report that a local Labour insider bemoaned: “We’ve got so many talented people in the region who didn’t make the shortlist or long list. It’s completely outrageous and so frustrating.” The MEN also claim that there is the potential for a walkout at tonight’s selection.
However, while Rochdale councillor Karen Danczuk tweeted her dissatisfaction that “not one local person has been short listed for Midd & Heywood”, she has now retracted her comment to give support to “fab local candidate” Liz McInnes.
Labour currently hold a majority of 5,971 in the constituency. The by-election will take place on October 9th.