It was a slightly quieter weekend for Labour selections as the party gets towards the end of the list of 35 seats where Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) had been allowed to start their selection processes early. Here’s LabourList’s quick look at the three candidates selected over the weekend.
Erewash CLP chose Adam Thompson as its candidate for the next election. Thompson is a local activist, currently serving as secretary and campaign coordinator of Erewash CLP. He was formerly vice-chair for policy for Scientists for Labour. He contested Amber Valley at the 2019 general election, coming second behind the Tory candidate. Outside of politics, Thompson is a research scientist working in manufacturing engineering. He is also a former teacher.
Thompson’s campaign received the backing of the Communication Workers Union, UNISON East Midlands, GMB Midlands and Unite East Midlands, as well as the East Midlands Co-operative Party. He joined an RMT picket line during strikes in June and recently said the CWU had his “utmost solidarity in ongoing industrial action”.
Thompson was the run-away favourite to win selection in the constituency and reportedly beat his rivals Lyndy Urquhart and Tom Blenkinsop (not the former MP) in the first round of voting. Following the result, Thompson tweeted: “I’m over the moon to announce that, today, [Erewash Labour] voted to select me to be their next parliamentary candidate. I’m humbled by the support and will do everything I can to deliver a victory for Labour in Erewash.”
Oliver Ryan was selected by local members in Burnley in a tight-fought contest. Ryan has been a councillor on Tameside council since 2014 representing Audenshaw ward, having first been elected at the age of 19. He currently serves as a national executive committee member and chief whip of Labour Local Government. He is also director of the Labour Local Government Campaign Cooperative, which offers campaigning and communications support to Labour groups. Ryan’s campaign received the backing of his own union, GMB, and the Co-operative Party. He expressed solidarity with the RMT in June.
The contest was predicted to be very close and proved to be so. LabourList understands Ryan won on the second round of voting, beating Lancashire County councillor Sobia Malik by just three votes (174 votes to 171). It was reportedly even closer in the first round, with Ryan receiving 134 votes to Malik’s 133. Burnley councillor Mark Townsend came in third followed by vice-chair of Preston CLP Ashley Dalton in fourth.
Tweeting following the result, Ryan said: “The work to turn Burnley red begins today… Thank you to all the members who supported me, and the many who turned out to take part. [It’s] a credit to Burnley that all four candidates were truly outstanding potential representatives, sincere commiserations to you all.”
Anna Dixon was selected as the Labour candidate for Shipley. Dixon currently chairs an independent commission on reimagining care set up by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. She is deputy chair of the charity Helpforce, which focuses on accelerating the growth and impact of volunteering in the NHS and was previously chief executive of the charity Centre for Ageing Better. Prior to that, Dixon worked as a director of strategy and policy at the Department for Health and was director of policy at the King’s Fund. She received an MBE in 2021 for her work on ageing.
Dixon’s campaign received the backing of Usdaw, Community and the Co-operative Party. She expressed support for the RMT in June, tweeting that general secretary Mick Lynch was doing the job he had been elected to do, “defending the pay and conditions of… members”.
Dixon reportedly won on the second ballot, tweeting afterwards: “I am delighted that the members of Shipley constituency have put their trust in me to fight for [Labour] at the next election. Thank you to everyone who took part and to my fellow candidates who ran a strong campaign. I look forward to working with you all.”