Update, July 3rd: Barrister and chair of the Society of Labour Lawyers Catherine Atkinson has been selected as the Labour candidate for Derby North.
Update, June 30th: A shortlist of four has been unveiled: Catherine Atkinson; Adam Wisdish; Dan Lalli; and Denise Scott-McDonald. The candidates will take part in a hustings on Sunday, July 3rd, after which members will have the chance to vote to determine who will be Labour’s candidate for Derby North.
Update, June 1st: The longlist has now been drawn up. The candidates included are: future candidate programme alumni Dan Lalli; NHS consultant and clinical director Dr Rais Irfan Ahmed; barrister and chair of the Society of Labour Lawyers Catherine Atkinson; local party vice-chair Adam Wisdish; Greenwich Council deputy leader Denise Scott-McDonald; and former Ealing council candidate Iram Woolley.
Derby North is held by the Tories by a relatively slim majority, and the seat has changed hands a few time in recent years. It was wrested from the then Labour MP Chris Williamson in 2015 by Tory Amanda Solloway, who won by just 41 votes.
Williamson won the constituency back for Labour in 2017 with a majority of 2,015 votes. He was suspended from the party, and the whip was withdrawn, in 2019 and he stood as an Independent in the election later that year. Solloway regained the constituency, beating Labour candidate Tony Tinley by a margin of 2,540 votes.
The application process has begun in the marginal Tory seat. Labour members have until May 16th to put themselves forward. First out of the gate to launch their campaign to be the Labour candidate was Catherine Atkinson.
Launching with a video shared on social media on Tuesday morning, Atkinson promised to “bring people together to win back Derby and be a strong socialist voice”. She is a barrister and chair of the Society of Labour Lawyers. She has stood for Labour in the neighbouring Erewash in the last three elections.
Adam Wisdish, vice-chair of the Constituency Labour Party in Derby North is also standing. He launched his campaign on Sunday, sharing a video and a link to his website on social media. He is a senior NHS manager, as well as a captain in the army reserve who served as part of the Covid response and in Estonia. He unsuccessfully stood to be a councillor in Chaddesden ward, which is in the constituency, in 2021.
Paul Bayliss confirmed he had submitted an application to be Labour’s candidate in a tweet shared on Saturday. He is a former leader of Derby City Council and previously represented Alvaston ward as a councillor, losing his seat at the 2019 local elections. He stood unsuccessfully in Mickleover ward at the 2022 locals.
LabourList understands that Nadine Peatfield plans to stand at the Derby North candidacy. She is currently serving as the deputy leader of the Labour group on Derby City Council and was accepted onto both the party’s Future Candidates programme and the Jo Cox Women in Leadership programme.
Chair of Derby Young Labour Philip Hutchinson launched his campaign on Wednesday, sharing a video and a website. He was born and lives in the constituency, is an environmental campaigner and former youth mayor of Derby.
LabourList understands that Denise Scott-McDonald is also considering standing. She is a Labour councillor on Greenwich council, having been reelected to represent Greenwich Peninsula ward at the 2022 local elections. She has served as cabinet member for regeneration and good growth and as the council’s deputy leader.
Future candidate programme alumni Dan Lalli has confirmed that he has applied. He was born and grew up in Derby before moving to London. He is a former work coach on the Kickstart scheme at Enfield job centre, North London, and now works in tech.