Exclusive: The shortlist for Labour’s top target seat in the south west

29th November, 2017 8:42 am

Labour activists are engaged in an intense selection battle in a south-west seat for the right to take on a former aide to David Cameron.

A mix of trade unionists and former parliamentary candidates feature on the shortlist for Camborne and Redruth, where George Eustice’s majority was cut from more than 7,000 in 2015 to 1,577 this summer.

Eustice was press secretary to Cameron during the Tories’ time in opposition before being elected to parliament in 2010.

Camborne and Redruth appears to be Labour’s top target seat in the south west region, based on the 64 it needs to gain to win a general election, although the party has not ranked the constituencies in order of priority.

These are the four activists who are in the running for the west country target seat.

Fiona Dent

The Unison member and rep on Labour’s national policy forum spent part of her childhood in Cornwall. She is well known among activists and stood in Windsor in the 2015 general election. She also took part in the entirety of the “people’s march for the NHS” from Jarrow to Westminster in 2014.

Sophie Johnson

The copywriter stood for Labour in Northamptonshire South in the general election when she campaigned intensively on NHS funding and the future of a local hospital and increased the party’s share of the vote by 10.6 per cent against Tory cabinet minister Andrea Leadsom.

Paul Raybould

The nurse and GMB rep went to school in Torquay and stood for Labour in the safe Tory seat of Torbay in the June election. He came third but increased Labour’s share of the vote by 9.5 per cent. He has also campaigned extensively over the issue of low pay.

Paul Farmer 

The Falmouth University associate lecturer, film-maker and former bus driver has lived in Cornwall for most of his life. He has won backing from Unite, the GMB, the Bakers’ Union and Momentum.

**Wednesday afternoon update – Fiona Dent withdrew today, sent her apologies to Labour members and asked to keep private the reasons for her decision.**

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