Stretford and Urmston’s next Labour candidate – runners and riders

Katie Neame
© Peter_Fleming/

Update, June 26th: Trafford Council leader Andrew Western has been selected as the Labour candidate for Stretford and Urmston.

Update, June 20th: The shortlist has now been released. The candidates that have made the shortlist are: Trafford Council leader Andrew Western; local councillor and cabinet member Joanne Harding; and former Ealing councillor Iram Woolley.

Update, May 31st: The longlist has now been drawn up. The candidates included are journalist Paul Mason; Abisola Arobieke, who works for Clive Efford MP; Trafford Council leader Andrew Western; local councillor and cabinet member Joanne Harding; former Ealing councillor Iram Woolley; and Oxford councillor Tom Hayes.

Stretford and Urmston is certainly one to win. The chance to be Labour’s candidate for this seat in Greater Manchester, held by Labour since its creation in 1997 and the party’s Kate Green since 2010, is not something to be sniffed at.

Green was re-elected to parliament with a healthy majority of 16,417 in 2019. The former Shadow Education Secretary announced earlier this year, however, that she will not be standing in the next general election. The seat is one of a first tranche that the party has allowed to get cracking with its selection process early. And members have until May 21st to put themselves forward.

First to announce was Andrew Western, who has been Labour leader of Trafford council since 2018. He confirmed that he was standing in a video released on social media in which he said he looks forward to “catching up with local members in the weeks ahead” to discuss their priorities for the area and his “vision for the future of Stretford and Urmston”.

Western is also currently the Greater Manchester Combined Authority portfolio lead for clean air and communities and co-operatives. He has twice stood unsuccessfully as Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Altrincham and Sale West in 2017 and 2019, reducing the Conservative majority on both occasions.

Joanne Harding is also standing and launched her campaign with a video posted on social media last week, in which she said: “Together, I know we can work to make Stretford and Urmston even better for all.” She is currently a councillor for Urmston Ward on Trafford Council, has served as the lead member for adult social care and led the ‘Save Trafford General’ campaign that fought to save a local hospital.

Tom Hayes has announced that he is standing, launching his campaign on Sunday with a short clip on social media. The deputy leader of Oxford City Council and cabinet member for zero-carbon Oxford and green transport said he is running to “tackle our cost of living crisis, rebuild our NHS and bring good green jobs to local communities”. He was born and brought up in Salford in Greater Manchester and is also the chief executive of Elmore, a mental health and domestic abuse charity.

Yasmine Dar is rumoured to be standing. Dar is a councillor for Moston ward on Manchester City Council and a member of Labour’s ruling national executive committee (NEC). LabourList reported in February that Dar is running for re-election to the NEC as part of the Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance’s slate of candidates.

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