Monday 23 January 2017

Stoke-on-Trent Central Labour Long List

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
Sonia Klein
Trudie McGuinness
Mark Meredith
Cllr Michael Payne
Cllr Gareth Snell
Cllr Mike Stubbs
David Williams

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 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.


paulocanning said...

I assume that, as per usual, no travel expenses will be paid. Sigh.

davidjc said...

Any chance you can do a left-right, pro or anti Corbyn, scale for us know-nothings in metropolitan-elite land?

Boffy said...

I don;t see any long-standing Corbynistas, or anyone to their left in this list. That seems to me a recipe for fudge and confusion in Labour's message at best, and a sort of UKIP lite attempt to pander to the old prejudices over immigration and free movement at worst.

Shai Masot said...

The list does look a bit whiffy. Tory-lite sort of whiffy.

Phil said...

I can only conclude you don't know any of the people on this list.

Anonymous said...

Well Trudi McGuiness when asked why she should be a PPC answered " it's my dream job" and also said " freedom of movement of people within the eu has allowed millions of Britons to enjoy a continental lifestyle" I'm sure the voters of Stoke will agree with this while eating their croissants and drinking their coffee

Sonia Klien has no connection to Stoke but does have a connection to Keith Vaz who is on her website endorsing her, and to be fair she did achieve a swing of 5.6 AGAINST labour when she ran previously as a PPC

Mark Meredith was arrested while Mayor of Stoke and was rejected by the voters of Stoke in favour of an independent in 2015

Stephen Hitchen is a serial by election long lister but then he is a Councillor in the same ward as Shirly Perkins who is the wife of Toby Perkins a continual critique of Jeremy Corbyn

This was all found by typing their names into Google, it seems that the long list selection process is more about the factions jockeying for position for their favoured candidate than about ensuring a strong credible candidate in what is a vital byelection. Why did the NEC not do basic due diligence on these candidates? It takes two minutes to go on google

I don't imagine you will allow this to be published but it shows that Labour could pick a candidate that UKIP will be able to take apart

Vic P said...

I cant see any strong local left candidate on this list, parachuting people in will not help the people of Stoke.

Anonymous said...

Ah so you didn't allow my comment to be posted so one of those four must be your preferred candidate. Remember all those points will be on UKIP leaflets if they get selected. You can censor here but you can't censor election literature.

This is a a deathmatch of a byelection but Labour are still behaving like its a safe seat to be given to a chosen candidate ( be they on the left or the right) also Labour are going to run on the NHS which is a very dangerous strategy, they risk becoming a single issue party and if they lose they will no longer be seen as the only party that can protect the NHS. It would be much wiser to run as the party that along with the voters of Stoke Central will not allow their town to become a political soap box for an MP who in his present elected position only has 30% voting record.

We will see I think Alison is the choice of the PLP so I expect her and two hopeless candidates, maybe Trudi and Sonia

Pip pip


Starkoman said...

I'm a new member of the Labour Party, so please forgive me if I ask what may appear to be a set of stupid (or “na├»ve”) questions:—

Q: Am I utterly wrong in assuming that the local CLP is primarily responsible for selecting the long and short lists for prospective parliamentary candidates and deciding the winner?

I know the party rules are very arcane and need some explaining (I've been told at meetings), however, it's hard to comprehend what the hell this has to do with anyone 170miles away in London (unless the CLP somehow managed to select someone really and truly objectionable).

This whole MP selection process seems ridiculously over-complicated and unnecessarily expensive. It also appears alarmingly flawed. It's shocking to see a complete lack of serious Corbyn people represented on that list. That’s a major problem, you know. This list doesn't reflect — in any way — the aspirations of the greater membership of the Labour Party, its twice-elected leader or the shadow cabinet itself.

It simply doesn't.

So here we go again, a list jammed (packed?), with genuinely earnest people who are able; just not as representative or committed to the modern policies of the Labour Party as they could or should be (that I'm aware of)(no offence, I hope). Some aren't even local!

When it comes to the NEC’s appalling track record of ‘parachuting in’ an ignominious series of utterly unsuitable, unsavoury and downright ruinous characters into previously functional, happy constituencies (see: Conor McGinn in St.Helens, et al), one can understand the dangers of it reoccurring in S-o-T. My suspicions are aroused and many people are already paying close attention to this.

The previous (godawful) MP was imposed on Stoke-on-Trent as some sort of safe-seat, sick ‘favour’ to Herr Mandleson — and it's worrying that true control to this day doesn't apparently rest in the hands of the local CLP.

Why does the NEC impose itself in these procedures? Are they saying that Stoke-on-Trent are untrustworthy? Incapable of running the ‘correct’ candidate? That they'll chose somebody not in the best interests of the constituency, country or party?

Is there no real subsidiarity or democracy at local level?

Aren't CLP’s trusted to select/deselect their own representative to Parliament?

Does anyone, anywhere in the Labour Party, think that this is a strange, undemocratic state of affairs?

Lots of questions (!). Is the situation is as bad as I'm wondering: whether everyone who joined since 2015 will be equally horrified (as I am), to question if shadow forces are really in control, that it's a poisoned environment, without a level field of engagement — or that joining Labour was a futile, knobbled, voiceless mistake?

A committed new member, like me, can become disheartened and dispirited quite quickly without the achievement of real, tangible results. It's a short step before other optimistic new people get despondent and drift off, feeling disillusioned and downhearted at this sort of sketchy-looking set-up.

Is that the probable NEC meisterplan, then? Wreck everything, hope everyone’ll give up, leaving the right wing to scavenge and salvage in the wreckage and ruins? It certainly seems increasingly realistic to this new member, sad to say.

Anonymous said...

Are any of them socialists?

Phil said...

Your "censored" comment when into the spam box. Don't be so quick to assume a conspiracy.

Steve, you're right, normally CLPs do their own longlisting and shortlisting. This was how Ruth Smeeth, for example, was selected as the party's candidate for Stoke North in 2015.

However, under exceptional circumstances the NEC steps in and runs selections. Presently these circumstances are defined as when a CLP is already in administrative suspension, or when a MP resigns/dies and a by-election is called.

Whether the latter should be the case or not is a matter for debate, but them's the rules at present.

davidjc said...

Following on from the comment above about Allison Gardner being the favourite, a quick twitter scroll suggests she voted Corbyn the first time and Smith the second. Could be worse.

Shai Masot said...

Boffy. There was originally at least one proper socialist in the running, according to LabourList, Chris Spence. He won the backing of BFAWU, the Bakers’ Union and is said to have played a significant role organising for Jeremy Corbyn in the West Midlands in the leadership election.

Starkoman said...

Thank you, Phil. Your information was very helpful in explaining NEC jurisdiction in this by-election and I know plenty of others will benefit from your reply — thanks again!