Several Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) have announced the results of ballots that took part over the weekend in what have been dubbed a ‘super’ Saturday and Sunday of selection processes. Below, LabourList takes quick a look at which candidates local members have chosen to represent the party at the next election.
Members in Stoke-on-Trent Central selected former MP Gareth Snell. First elected to represent the seat in a by-election in February 2017 following the resignation of previous Labour MP Tristram Hunt, he held the seat at the general election later that year but lost out to Tory Jo Gideon in 2019 by 670 votes.
Snell had been a Labour activist for many years before entering parliament. He helped found Keele Labour Students during his university years and later served as a councillor on Newcastle-under-Lyme council. Snell held the role of leader of the council from 2012 to 2014 and has also worked full-time as a UNISON official.
Following the announcement of his selection, he tweeted: “Immensely proud to have been selected as the [Labour and Co-operative Party] candidate for Stoke-on-Trent Central today. Thank you to all the members who gave out your faith in me – I promise I will repay that trust by working hard everyday to deliver a Labour GAIN.”
The former Labour MP won selection on the first round with 93 votes, ahead of Jonathan Hibberts, a partner in a City of London law firm, who received 29 votes. Sandwell councillor Kacey Akpoteni came in third with two votes.
Hartlepool CLP picked Jonathan Brash as its next candidate. Brash currently represents Burn Valley ward on Hartlepool council, as well as serving as the council’s deputy leader. He previously served on the council from 2006 to 2016 and was re-elected as a councillor in 2021. Outside of politics, Brash works as a teacher
Members voted to select Brash by 107 votes to 34. Tweeting following the announcement, Brash said: “I’m honoured and proud to have been selected as Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Hartlepool. I grew up in this wonderful town and I am looking forward to fighting for a better future for it. Thank you to members and the public for all their words. The work starts now.”
Exeter members voted for Hackney councillor Steve Race. Race has represented Hoxton East and Shoreditch ward on the council since 2018. Though his council role is based in London, he has been involved with Exeter Labour for 15 years, including working for current MP Ben Bradshaw. Race stood unsuccessfully as the Labour candidate for East Devon in the 2015 general election.
Following the vote, Race tweeted: “Thank you to all the Exeter Labour members who took part in the selection today – I’m delighted and honoured to be selected as the parliamentary candidate for Exeter! It’s been a great campaign, with brilliant candidates all round. Lots of work to do, and big shoes to fill.”
Race reportedly won on the second round with 218 votes, ahead of Exeter CLP women’s officer Helen Dallimore on 114 and UNISON regional convenor for the South West Neil Guild on 84. Slough councillor Natasa Pantelic was eliminated on first round with 30 votes.
Members in Watford selected Matt Turmaine as their candidate for the next election. Turmaine has been a councillor on Watford council since 2012, representing Holywell ward. He previously contested Watford constituency at the 2015 general election, losing to Tory Richard Harrington by 9,794 votes. He subsequently contested Chesham and Amersham constituency at the 2019 election, taking third place behind the Tory and Liberal Democrat candidates. Outside of politics, Turmaine has worked for the BBC and within the health and social care sector
Speaking following the selection result on Saturday, Turmaine said: “I cannot wait to get stuck in and begin the hard work that will be needed to turn Watford red and put Keir Starmer into Number 10 Downing Street. As a local candidate, we will start the work immediately to make Watford a Labour gain at the next general election, which for the good people of Watford cannot come soon enough.”
Huddersfield CLP chose Harpreet Uppal as their candidate, who will look to succeed longstanding Labour MP Barry Sheerman in parliament. If she wins the seat, Uppal will be the first woman to represent Huddersfield as an MP. Uppal previously served on Kirklees council, representing Ashbrow ward, and currently works in the office of Debbie Abrahams. She also worked part time on Andy Burnham’s 2017 Greater Manchester mayoral campaign, as an events and stakeholder lead.
Uppal reportedly won selection in the final round by 114 votes to 93, beating lawyer Hugh Goulbourne. Tweeting following the announcement, Uppal said: “I am so proud and humbled to have been selected as Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Huddersfield. Thanks to the other brilliant candidates, [Mark Morris, Mus Khan, Hugh Goulbourne and] to all the members who took part. I will always put the residents of Huddersfield first.”
Hastings and Rye
Helena Dollimore was selected by members in Hastings and Rye. Dollimore currently serves as a councillor in Merton council in London, representing St Helier ward since 2021. Though her council role is based in London, she grew up in the Hastings area. Dollimore was chair of Oxford University Labour Club during her time at university and subsequently held the roles of South East representative on Labour’s national policy forum and of Young Labour vice-chair. Outside of politics, Dollimore works in global sustainability for Unilever and previously worked for Save the Children as a global communications and media adviser to the CEO.
Dollimore reportedly won selection with 233 votes, ahead of Rother District councillor Christine Bayliss on 55 and charity worker Simon Thomson on 4. Tweeting following the result, Dollimore said: “It’s an honour to be selected as [Labour] candidate for Hastings [and] Rye at the next election. The works starts now to win back this seat for Labour and change lives. Thank you to all our brilliant members, unions & affiliates who backed me.”
Milton Keynes South
Milton Keynes South Labour members chose local councillor Emily Darlington as their next general election candidate. Darlington was first elected to represent Bletchley East ward on the council in 2018 and is currently deputy leader of the Labour group, as well as serving as cabinet member for adults, housing and healthy communities. She stood unsuccessfully as the Labour candidate in neighbouring Milton Keynes North in 2015.
Prior to becoming a councillor, Darlington was head of media, campaigns and communications at GMB. She subsequently worked as a special adviser in both the Department for Trade and Industry and the Treasury under the last Labour government.
Tweeting following the result, Darlington said: “Huge thank you to all the members of [Milton Keynes Labour Party] for the support. Time for a fresh start and an MP who stands up for MK.” She was selected over former Luton South CLP chair Bodrul Amin, Ealing councillor Miriam Rice and lawyer Nik Slingsby.