Diana Johnson has been reselected as a Labour candidate with an overwhelming three-quarters of votes cast by local members, marking the first selection win of a ‘triggered’ sitting MP.
On Friday evening, a significant majority of Labour members in Kingston upon Hull North who voted in the contest backed their current representative. She will now stand again in the same constituency at the next election.
LabourList understands that Johnson secured 292 votes out of almost 400 cast, including more than 200 postal votes. Her opponent, local councillor Aneesa Akbar, received 101 votes.
The sitting MP, well-known for her work on abortion and the contaminated blood scandal, was backed in her reselection bid by key leadership figure John McDonnell, campaigns chief Andrew Gwynne and other shadow cabinet members.
Momentum member Akbar had received endorsements from Unite the Union, BFAWU and the local Hull branch of CWU. Following the result, she tweeted: “Congratulations to @DianaJohnsonMP on her victory and I look forward to campaigning for her… in the general election.”
In September, enough local party branches in Kingston upon Hull North voted in favour of a full selection process rather than automatic reselection of their MP that the threshold – now set at one third – was reached.
Commenting on the trigger result at the time, Johnson said: “I am disappointed to have been triggered for an open selection by a small number of members, especially when overall the majority of Hull North Constituency Labour Party members have so far voted to reselect me.”
The other MPs triggered so far are Margaret Hodge, Roger Godsiff, Emma Lewell-Buck, Kate Osamor and Virendra Sharma, none of whom have yet seen their selections conclude. Most are expected to be ultimately reselected.