Update, July 16th: Hackney councillor Steve Race has been selected as the Labour candidate for Exeter.
The process to select the next Labour parliamentary candidate for Exeter is underway. The constituency has been represented by Labour’s Ben Bradshaw since 1997 who most recently won the seat by a majority of 10,403 at the 2019 general election. As one of only six seats in the South West region represented by Labour MPs – only two of which are outside of Bristol – it will certainly be a high priority for the party.
Exeter is one of a second tranche of 21 constituencies that the central party has allowed to get started with their selection processes early. A shortlist has now been finalised and hustings are scheduled for July 16th – after which local members will vote for who they want to be Labour’s parliamentary candidate.
Helen Dallimore is one of the four candidates to make it on to the shortlist. Dallimore grew up in Devon and has lived in Exeter for more than ten years. She is currently Exeter Constituency Labour Party’s women’s officer. She stood unsuccessfully as a Devon County Council candidate in Wearside and Topsham in 2021. Dallimore previously worked as an employment lawyer.
Neil Guild has been shortlisted. Guild is UNISON’s regional convenor for the South West. He is from Taunton in Somerset, approximately 30 miles from Exeter, and stood unsuccessfully as the Labour candidate in Taunton Deane constituency at the 2015 general election. He previously held the role of chair of the South West regional Labour Party. He served in the British Army for more than six years and now works as a civil engineer.
Natasa Pantelic has also been included on the shortlist. Pantelic has been a councillor on Slough Council since 2008 and currently serves as cabinet member for social care and public health. She is a primary school teacher and also works for Chris Bryant as a senior parliamentary assistant. She was a founding member of the Labour Women’s Parliamentary Staff Network. Pantelic stood unsuccessfully as the Labour parliamentary candidate in the 2021 Chesham and Amersham by-election
Rounding out the shortlist is Steve Race. He is currently a councillor on Hackney Council, representing Hoxton East and Shoreditch since 2018. He has been involved with Exeter Labour for 15 years, including working for current MP Ben Bradshaw. He stood unsuccessfully as the Labour candidate for East Devon in the 2015 general election.