Details about the long list for Stoke-on-Trent Central's Labour candidacy started to emerge in dribs and drabs at tea time this evening. The applicants who've made it this far have received an invitation to attend a shortlisting interview with a panel of Labour's National Executive Committee in London tomorrow. In all, the NEC received 41 applications for the vacancy.
Without further ado, the long listed are ...
Cllr Sam Corcoran
Cllr Dr Allison Gardner
Cllr Olwen Hamer
Cllr Dr Stephen Hitchin
Cllr Michael Payne
Cllr Gareth Snell
Cllr Mike Stubbs
This is an exceptionally strong long list. I know some of these folks very well and am confident they will do an excellent job.
For your information Sam Corcoran is a councillor in nearby Sandbach in Cheshire, Allison Gardner is chair of Newcastle-under-Lyme CLP and a councillor for Chesterton, Olwen Hamer is a councillor on Stoke-on-Trent City Council and has worked for as well been a workplace representative for Unison. Stephen Hitchen is a councillor in Chesterfield, and Sonia Klein stood for Labour in Ilford North in 2010 and worked for Left Foot Forward. Trudie McGuinness is the Labour candidate for Cannock on Staffs County Council and ran as Labour's candidate in Staffordshire Moorlands in 2015. Mark Meredith was the former directly-elected mayor for Stoke-on-Trent between 2005 and 2009, and sat again as a councillor between 2011 and 2015. Michael Payne is Deputy Council Leader on Gedling Borough Council, Gareth Snell is a councillor in Newcastle-under-Lyme and works for Unison. Mike Stubbs also represents Labour in the borough where he sits for Talke, and David Williams stood for Labour in the 2015 local elections in Stoke and works for the YMCA.
This is a very difficult field to whittle down, but I trust the NEC panel will draw up a shortlist of strong candidates for us to select from.