Labour members in Gedling have picked Nottinghamshire County councillor and Gedling Borough Council deputy leader Michael Payne as their candidate to stand for the seat in the next general election.
Gedling is one of 14 Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) that the national executive committee agreed could begin the process early to select its parliamentary candidate. The party finalised a shortlist of six earlier this week before candidates set out their stall directly to members in a hustings today.
On the shortlist alongside Payne were Kyrsten Perry, Andre Henry, Jamie McMahon, Saj Ahmad and Harriet Digby, but sources described the contest to LabourList as a “two-person race” between Payne and McMahon – a Cooperative Party national executive committee member.
Payne backed Keir Starmer for leader in the 2020 leadership contest. He has also been involved with the ‘Alliance for Full Employment‘ – a campaign set up to deal with the jobs emergency and meet the need for well-paid and fulfilling employment.
Speaking after the hustings, Payne said: “I know this area so well and cannot wait to get started on my campaign. The people of Gedling, along with many other areas, have suffered for too long at the hands of this Conservative government and have felt the impact of the cuts to public services and the cost of living crisis.
“I’d like to thank the Labour Party members in Gedling for their support. The fight to win Gedling back for Labour starts now.”
Gedling had been a safe Tory seat until the 1997 election, before being won and held by Labour’s Vernon Coaker until 2019. Conservative Tom Randall won the seat at the last election, but holds the constituency by a majority of just 679.