This weekend saw three more Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) – Keighley, Milton Keynes North and Northampton North – meet to select their candidates for the next election. All three are currently represented by Conservative MPs, with majorities ranging from 2,218 in Keighley to 6,255 in Milton Keynes North.
Here’s a quick look at the candidates selected…
Keighley CLP picked former MP John Grogan to contest the seat at the next election. Grogan represented Keighley in parliament from 2017 to 2019, when he was unseated by Tory Robbie Moore. Grogan was previously the MP for Selby from 1997 to 2010 but stood down following boundary changes. During his two stints in parliament, he served three separate terms on the Northern Ireland affairs committee and sat on the environment, food and rural affairs committee.
Grogan is a former chair of the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform. Since leaving parliament, he has co-chaired the One Yorkshire Committee, which campaigns to get more powers and resources for the county, and set up the Yorkshire and Humber Labour Business Forum, as well as serving as a member of the Yorkshire and Humber Labour Party Regional Executive. His endorsements included Unite, UNISON, the GMB, the CWU, Community and Usdaw.
Grogan received 282 votes from local members, followed by Patrick Kilduff on 15 and Margaret Pinder with 7. Speaking to Keighley News following the result, the former MP said: “Keighley and Ilkley is a classic marginal seat. It is 23rd on the target list of seats for Labour at the next general election in terms of the swing required. I feel a big responsibility to win this seat for Labour again and help put Keir Starmer into No 10 Downing Street.”
Milton Keynes North
Chris Curtis was selected as the candidate for Milton Keynes North. Curtis works for pollster Opinium. He was formerly the company’s head of political polling but stepped down from the role in October. He previously worked at YouGov for more than five years, starting out as a political and social research team intern and working his way up to research manager. He was born and grew up in Milton Keynes. His endorsements included Community, Usdaw, GMB and the Labour Campaign for International Development.
LabourList understands that Curtis won selection with 151 votes ahead of runner- up Uday Nagaraju with 31. Following the hustings meeting, Curtis said: “Delighted to be selected as Labour’s candidate for Milton Keynes North. I would like to thank you all for the support during this campaign. I will continue to fight to turn Milton Keynes red, and for the Labour government this country urgently needs.”
Members in Northampton North selected Lucy Rigby as their next candidate. Rigby was previously a councillor on Islington council in London, representing Holloway ward, and served as the council’s audit committee chair. She contested Lincoln at the 2015 election, coming in second behind the Tory candidate by 1,443 votes. She is a lawyer by profession. Her endorsements included Usdaw, UNISON, and the GMB.
LabourList understands Rigby won comfortably, with her only rival Marianne Kimani getting 16 votes of the 99 cast, meaning Rigby may have won by approximately five votes to one. Tweeting following the result, Rigby said: “So grateful for local members’ support to be [Labour’s] candidate for Northampton North The path to a Labour government runs through Northampton North. Let’s do this!”