Three on shortlist to be next Labour candidate for Northampton North

Katie Neame

Update, November 26th: Lawyer and former Islington councillor Lucy Rigby has been selected as the next candidate for Northampton North.

Northampton North has been a bellwether seat since 1974, meaning it has elected an MP representing the winning party at every general election in the last 48 years. It is currently represented by Tory MP Michael Ellis, who won the seat for a fourth time in 2019 with a majority of 5,507. His immediate predecessor was Labour’s Sally Keeble, who represented the seat throughout the New Labour years.

As one of the UK’s longest-standing bellwethers (only Dartford has returned a representative of the winning party on more successive occasions, having first done so in 1964), Northampton North will be a key indicator of how Labour is faring at the next election. LabourList understands the selection process for the seat’s next Labour candidate has gone straight from the longlist to the shortlist stage, with three names included on the list. Hustings is scheduled for November 26th. Here’s our round-up of the shortlisted candidates:

The first name on the list is Dr Laura Davies. She was selected as the Labour candidate for Shrewsbury and Atcham at the 2019 election, having previously contested the seat in both 2015 and 2017. She was deselected, however, 37 days before polling day in 2019 following an interview with Labour’s national executive committee. In a statement, the Shrewsbury Labour Party said Davies had failed to “work with and engage with members”, an accusation she refuted, describing the atmosphere at the time as “factional” and “toxic”. Outside of politics, Davies works as a GP and was formerly a major in the Royal Army Medical Corps.

Marianne Kimani has also been shortlisted. Kimani stood unsuccessfully for election as a councillor on West Northamptonshire Council in 2021, coming in fourth behind a Liberal Democrat candidate and two Labour candidates by just over 100 votes. In her day job, she works as a healthcare case investigator, investigating healthcare incidents for the NHS.

The final name on the list is Lucy Rigby. Rigby was previously a councillor on Islington council in London, representing Holloway ward and serving 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 and a board member of The Collective Redress Lawyers Association, an organisation which seeks to safeguard and enhance access to justice for claimants who have been harmed by wrongful conduct. Her endorsements include Usdaw, UNISON, and the GMB.

This list will be updated as the situation develops. Email or DM me with tips.

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