Our rundown of Labour parliamentary selections over the weekend

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It was another busy weekend for Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) announcing the results of their parliamentary selection processes. Below, LabourList takes a quick look at which candidates local members chose to stand at the next election.

South Swindon

Members in South Swindon selected former MP for Lewisham East Heidi Alexander as their candidate for the next election. Alexander represented Lewisham East from 2010 to 2018 and held the role of Shadow Health Secretary from 2015 to 2016. Alexander was one of a number of MPs who quit Jeremy Corbyn’s frontbench in 2016 after saying they had lost confidence in his leadership. She left parliament in 2018 to become London mayor Sadiq Khan’s deputy mayor for transport, a role she held until the end of last year. Though she previously represented a constituency in London, Alexander grew up in Swindon.

Alexander reportedly won selection comfortably on first preferences. Tweeting following the result, she said: “Being selected as Labour’s candidate for South Swindon means the world to me – thank you [South Swindon Labour]. Am determined to build a winning team here and to make a real difference to my home town.”

Chingford and Woodford Green

Faiza Shaheen was selected as the Labour candidate in Chingford and Woodford Green. Shaheen previously contested the seat in 2019, receiving the highest vote Labour has ever achieved in the constituency and narrowing incumbent Tory MP Iain Duncan Smith’s majority to 1,262. Shaheen currently works for the Center on International Cooperation at New York University, leading on a global project working with governments on how they can address inequality and discrimination through policy reform. She was previously director of the left-wing think tank Centre for Labour and Social Studies.

Shaheen reportedly won selection on the first ballot with 204 votes, ahead of lawyer Bilal Mahmood in second place on 165. Reacting to the news of Shaheen’s selection, a Momentum spokesperson said: “The Labour leadership has pulled every trick in the book to block socialists from standing for Labour, undermining the rights of local parties, councillors and trade unions in the process. But in Chingford and Woodford Green Labour members knew that their community needed a committed socialist and anti-racist in Faiza Shaheen, someone who will fight for the transformative changed needed both for their community and the country. Come election time, Momentum will mobilise strongly to finish what we started, kick out Iain Duncan Smith and send a brilliant socialist to parliament in his place.”

Norwich North

Norwich North Labour Party selected Alice MacDonald as its candidate for the next election. MacDonald is a councillor on Southwark council in London, representing Newington ward, and currently serves as cabinet member for equalities, neighbourhoods and leisure. She previously worked for the Labour Party, including as a senior adviser to Harriet Harman while she was Shadow International Development Secretary and as a senior adviser to Bob Ainsworth while he was Shadow Defence Secretary.

Outside of politics, MacDonald works as a campaigns and policy director for Project Everyone, a not-for-profit communications agency which focuses on accelerating progress towards the United Nations sustainable development goals. She grew up in the Norfolk area, and her mother was previously leader of West Norfolk Council.

Following the result, MacDonald tweeted: “I am so proud to be selected for Norwich North. Thanks so much to members and all the other candidates for taking part in a great campaign. The hard work starts now to win back [Norwich North] for Labour.”

Cities of London and Westminster

Members in Two Cities selected Rachel Blake as their next candidate. Blake has been a councillor in Tower Hamlets since 2014, representing Bow East ward. She served as a cabinet member on the council for seven years and previously held the role of deputy mayor. Blake is currently vice-chair of the Labour Housing Group. She previously served as a policy advisor in the Treasury under Gordon Brown and has worked for various local authorities including the City of London Corporation.

Blake was reportedly selected on the second round of voting ahead of Westminster councillor Liza Begum, after lawyer Deeba Syed was eliminated in the first round. Tweeting following the result, Blake said: “Really happy to be selected as [the Labour] candidate for Cities of London and Westminster. We are getting to work right away knocking on doors – because together Labour can win here.”

Peterborough

Andrew Pakes was selected as the Labour candidate in Peterborough. Pakes is currently director of communications and research at Prospect union. He worked as a senior political advisor to the Labour Party between 2010 and 2013, advising the shadow cabinet on environmental issues, and has also served as chair of SERA, the Labour environment campaign.

Pakes was previously a member of the Co-operative Party national executive committee. He has served as a councillor in London, representing Livesey ward on Southwark council from 2006 to 2010. He has twice stood for election to parliament – in Milton Keynes North in 2010 and Milton Keynes South in 2015 – coming second to the Tory candidate on both occasions.

Following the result, Pakes tweeted: “We deserve so much better than the political circus at the heart of government. The Tories are selling Peterborough short. Thank you to members for picking me as your [Labour and Co-operative] candidate. Together, we can rebuild trust [and] ambition for the city.”

Hendon

Labour members in Hendon selected David Pinto-Duschinsky as their candidate for the next election. Pinto-Duschinsky was a former adviser to Alistair Darling under the last Labour government. Locally, he has helped set up a food bank in West Hendon, campaigned against cladding in Colindale and fought local education cuts. He was previously selected to stand in Hendon in 2019, following a hotly-contested selection process, but lost out to the Tories by 4,230 votes.

Pinto-Duschinsky reportedly received more than 90% of the 160 votes cast by members, winning selection on first preferences. Commenting following the result, he said: “I’m completely focused on building a better future for Hendon and working tirelessly for local people on their priorities like providing real help with the cost-of-living crisis, rebuilding our NHS, tackling Hendon’s housing crisis and cutting crime. And I’m committed to rooting antisemitism out of the Labour Party. For too long, Labour let the Jewish community down and allowed the poison of antisemitism to spread. Under Keir Starmer, we have made great progress, but there is still more to do. I am totally dedicated to building a Labour Party that all can be proud to support.”

Plymouth Moor View

Gareth Derrick was selected as the Labour candidate for Plymouth Moor View. Derrick previously served as a councillor on Plymouth council, representing Ham ward from 2018 to 2022 and serving as shadow cabinet member for transformation and value. He has twice stood as the Labour candidate for South East Cornwall, in 2017 and 2019, coming second to the Tory candidate on both occasions. He has also twice stood unsuccessfully as the Labour candidate for Devon and Cornwall police and crime commissioner, in 2016 and 2021. Outside of politics, he served for 36 years in the Royal Navy, having joined at the age of 18.

Tweeting following the result, Derrick said: “Honoured and delighted to be given the privilege of selection today as Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for the seat of Plymouth Moor View. Thanks to all my supporters and everyone that has made this possible.”

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