Labour selections have been slowing down in recent weeks as the party works its way through the list of 35 seats where Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) had been allowed to start their selection processes early. By my count, just two remain from that list: Birmingham Northfield and Carlisle. This weekend, it was the turn of local members in Bassetlaw and Southampton Itchen. Here’s LabourList’s quick look at the candidates those local parties selected…
Local members in Bassetlaw selected Jo White as their parliamentary candidate. White is deputy leader of Bassetlaw council. She has served on the council for ten years, nine of which she has spent as cabinet member for regeneration. She is the wife of the constituency’s former MP John Mann and worked as his office manager between 2003 and 2019.
White received the backing of Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting, Shadow Levelling Up Secretary Lisa Nandy and Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves, as well as GMB, UNISON, Community union, the Co-operative Party, Jewish Labour Movement and Labour Campaign for International Development.
LabourList understands that White beat her only rival, NHS doctor and former Lambeth mayor Neeraj Patil, convincingly. Tweeting following the result, White said: “I wish to thank [Bassetlaw CLP] members for so positively endorsing me to be their parliamentary candidate at the next election. We now must unite to achieve our shared aim – to defeat the local Tory MP and elect a Labour government.”
Darren Paffey was selected as the Labour candidate for Southampton Itchen. He is deputy leader of Southampton council. Leader of the council Satvir Kaur was selected last month to contest neighbouring Southampton Test.
Paffey represents Bargate ward on the council and currently serves as cabinet member for children and learning. He contested Romsey and Southampton North parliamentary constituency for Labour at both the 2015 and 2017 elections, coming third behind the Tory and Lib Dem candidates on both occasions. Outside of politics, he works as a lecturer in Spanish and linguistics at the University of Southampton, researching political media discourse.
Paffey received the backing of the director of the English Labour Network, former cabinet minister and former Labour MP for Southampton Itchen John Denham and Southampton Test MP and shadow energy minister Alan Whitehead, as well as the Co-operative Party, Community union and UNISON.
Paffey reportedly won by a “landslide” on the first ballot, with architect Jay Morton coming in second. Following the result, Paffey tweeted: “It’s an honour to be selected by members as our Labour parliamentary candidate. Thanks to other candidates for a positive campaign, and the committee who ran the selection. The hard work starts here, and I’m looking forward to building a winning campaign!”