Penistone and Stocksbridge members to pick candidate from shortlist of two

Katie Neame

Update, July 28th: Oxford councillor and disability activist Marie Tidball has been selected as the Labour candidate for Penistone and Stocksbridge.

Penistone and Stocksbridge constituency in South Yorkshire will be yet another test of the ability of Keir Starmer’s Labour to regain seats in the party’s heartlands. The area was represented by Labour for the majority of the 20th century and throughout the New Labour years, before being won by Tory candidate Miriam Cates in 2019 with a majority of 7,210 – after her predecessor in the role, Labour MP Angela Smith, defected to Change UK and subsequently to the Lib Dems the same year.

Penistone and Stocksbridge was announced as one of a second tranche of 21 seats in which the Constituency Labour Party (CLP) was allowed by the central party to get started on its selection process early. A shortlist has now been finalised and hustings are scheduled for July 28th – after which local members will vote for who they want to be Labour’s parliamentary candidate.

Craig Gamble Pugh has been shortlisted. Gamble Pugh has been a councillor on Sheffield council since 2016, representing East Ecclesfield ward, which is within Penistone and Stocksbridge constituency. From 2016 to 2018, he deputised for the council’s cabinet member for transport and sustainability, taking a lead on policy development relating to environmental issues. He also spent four years as co-chair of South Yorkshire Climate Alliance. Outside of politics, Gamble Pugh is a student mental health nurse and was previously chief executive of charity Greentop Circus, a local circus skills centre.

The second name on the list is Marie Tidball. Tidball is a disability activist who is currently project co-ordinator at the Oxford University Disability Law and Policy Project, which aims to increase the inclusion of disability in research and teaching on disability law and policy. She is also a research associate at the university’s Centre for Criminology. Tidball has served on Oxford council since 2016, representing Hinksey Park ward, and has spent four years as a cabinet member. She contested Oxford West and Abingdon constituency at the 2017 election, coming in third place behind the Lib Dem and Tory candidates. Tidball was born in Barnsley and grew up in Penistone, later moving to Stocksbridge as a teenager.

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