Two candidates left in race to represent Labour in Rossendale and Darwen (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Two candidates left in race to represent Labour in Rossendale and Darwen
THE contest to become Labour candidate for Rossendale and Darwen has come down to a head-to-head between Jack Straw’s son Will and local councillor Andy MacNae.
The original six applicants to fight sitting Tory MP Jake Berry for the marginal seat has been whittled down to just two.
Coun MacNae, 47, holds the regeneration, tourism and leisure portfolio in the cabinet of Rossendale Borough Council and represents Greensclough ward in Bacup. He runs his own consultancy business.
Mr Straw, the 32-year-old son of Blackburn MP and ex-Cabinet Minister Jack, works in London for the left-wing think tank the Institute of Public Policy Research on energy and transport.
The selection meeting will be held on Sunday, September 1, at the Sunnybank Club in Helmshore.
The winner will contest the May 2015 general election trying to overturn Tory Jake Berry’s majority of 4,493 from May 2010.
The seat, one of the UK’s most marginal, is seen as a ‘barometer’ constituency which can indicate which party will win the national poll.
Mr Straw said: “I believe winning Rossendale and Darwen is vital for the country and the next general election. The area is in my DNA. I know and love East Lancashire.”
Coun MacNae, said: “Voters want someone with real-life experience, an MP who has had a working career, in contract with Jake Berry, who is just using Rossendale and Darwen as a stepping stone in his career.”
Mr Berry said: “It doesn’t matter who is Labour’s candidate. It’s the same old Labour Party that nearly bankrupted Britain.”
Constituency Labour chairman Nick Pilling said: “We are now down to two very good candidates to fight a key, marginal seat which gets a lot of media interest at every general election, and can often indicate who will form the next government.”
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