Lancashire TelegraphPendle attracts unusually long list of MP hopefuls (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Pendle attracts unusually long list of MP hopefuls

EIGHTEEN Labour hopefuls have thrown their hats in the ring for the selection to fight sitting Tory MP Andrew Stephenson for the Pendle seat at the next general election.

The unusually-large list of would-be candidates reflects the marginal nature of the seat – taken from Labour’s Gordon Prentice by just 3,585 votes in 2010.

It is headed by Pendle Labour Party president and Nelson South county councillor Azhar Ali.

Also on the list is his Lancashire county cabinet colleague Marcus Johnstone, who represents Padiham and Burnley West.

Former Pendle borough councillor and ex-chairman of the Nelson Area committee Asghar Ali, and Mark Townsend, deputy leader of Burnley Borough Council, are also among leading East Lancashire contenders.

The only woman on the list is Lesley Delves, from Southport.

Earby ex-soldier Christopher McKimm, and Nelson resident Dan Lodge, are among local candidates.

Salford city councillor Jim King, and Oldham teacher Ken Rustidge, have joined the list from the wider North West Labour party.

Sport fan Kiran Kerai, and director of Labour Friends of Small Business Amran Hussein have bid for the position from London, while Communications Union official Javed Iqbal has applied from Wakefield, in West Yorkshire.

The other hopefuls are Ashiq Hussain, Malcolm Birks, Masood Amer, Nadim Choudary, Russell Kennedy, and Tom Harding This week the 18 will be whittled down to a long list for interview, on September 1.

A final shortlist will then be prepared for a hustings and vote by Pendle Labour Party members, on September 15.

Liz Savage, the Lancashire party secretary organising the process, said: “This is a strong field of 18 candidates.

“I would urge all Labour party members in Pendle to attend the hustings and selection meeting on September 15.

“We want as many people as possible to take part in this democratic process.

“I would urge anyone who wants a Labour MP in Pendle, and a Labour government, to join the party and work for whoever is our candidate.”

Mr Stephenson said: “I am surprised it has taken Labour so long to appoint a prospective parliamentary candidate.

“I look forward to finding out who will be opposing me in 2015, on September 15.”

Comments (2)

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11:12pm Thu 15 Aug 13

Lucy Porter 101 says...

The way the economy is improving Labour don't stand a chance!
The way the economy is improving Labour don't stand a chance! Lucy Porter 101
  • Score: 0

8:48am Fri 16 Aug 13

Kevin, Colne says...

It is pleasing to see such a wide range of candidates and one must hope that the best candidate is selected.

The Labour Party should, however, be deeply worried. They are nowhere close to where they should be at this stage in the electoral-cycle to be assured of success at the next general election.

There is no doubt that the state of the economy will be a key factor in determining the outcome of the election, although I suspect that a lot will depend on whether this has translated through into improvements in living standards.

In any cases, the recent rise in GDP in no way alters the fundamental structural factors impacting upon workers. For example, the trend increase in real wages stopped a decade ago, and as we have seen with recent figures wages are continuing to fall in real terms at a fair clip. The forces depressing real incomes – notably wages - look and feel pretty entrenched from where I’m sitting.

The result of the election will be determined by events, to use Harold MacMillan’s famous quip; and a lot of events can happen between now and the general election.

As best one can judge the economy as measured by GDP is improving, although consumer confidence remains weak and I suspect that it is extremely fragile. So while one can be more hopeful about the future I would say that we’re not out of the woods, not by a long chalk.

A prolonged rise in petrol prices driven by geo-political risk and a substantial hike in other fuel prices, not be mention food, could do some pretty serious damage to confidence; not to mention a possible rout in the bond market and a rise in longer-term interest rates.
It is pleasing to see such a wide range of candidates and one must hope that the best candidate is selected. The Labour Party should, however, be deeply worried. They are nowhere close to where they should be at this stage in the electoral-cycle to be assured of success at the next general election. There is no doubt that the state of the economy will be a key factor in determining the outcome of the election, although I suspect that a lot will depend on whether this has translated through into improvements in living standards. In any cases, the recent rise in GDP in no way alters the fundamental structural factors impacting upon workers. For example, the trend increase in real wages stopped a decade ago, and as we have seen with recent figures wages are continuing to fall in real terms at a fair clip. The forces depressing real incomes – notably wages - look and feel pretty entrenched from where I’m sitting. The result of the election will be determined by events, to use Harold MacMillan’s famous quip; and a lot of events can happen between now and the general election. As best one can judge the economy as measured by GDP is improving, although consumer confidence remains weak and I suspect that it is extremely fragile. So while one can be more hopeful about the future I would say that we’re not out of the woods, not by a long chalk. A prolonged rise in petrol prices driven by geo-political risk and a substantial hike in other fuel prices, not be mention food, could do some pretty serious damage to confidence; not to mention a possible rout in the bond market and a rise in longer-term interest rates. Kevin, Colne
  • Score: 0

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