Candidates queue up to replace Jack Straw in Blackburn

Lancashire Telegraph: Jack Straw Jack Straw

MORE than a dozen Labour politicians have expressed an interest in taking over from Jack Straw as the party’s candidate for Blackburn at the next election.

They include borough council leader Kate Hollern, Burnley-born former Dewsbury MP Shahid Malik, Hyndburn Council deputy leader Clare Pritchard, and Pendle’s Labour group leader Mohammed Iqbal.

A rush of applicants is expected after the party’s national executive decides on January 14 whether there will be a women-only shortlist for the seat.

It will fire the starting gun for the official contest and set the timetable for the selection to be completed by the end of March.

With a majority of 9,856 at the 2010 general election, Blackburn is considered to be a ‘safe seat’ – something that constituency Labour party secretary Phil Riley denies.

He said: “I would expect a lot of people to formally apply after the national executive meets in January. I have heard of at least 19 people who are interested in taking over from Jack in May 2015, locally and across the country.

“This is not a seat with a natural huge Labour majority like Wigan or Merthyr Tydfil.

“It was been won by Labour for more than 60 years because we have had two superb MPs and a local Labour party that works very hard.”

So far, the only person to say he is seeking nomination is Mr Straw’s constituency secretary and Mill Hill councillor Damian Talbot.

Coun Hollern is known to be interested and is one of the early favourites, especially if it is a women-only shortlist. Coun Pritchard is the only other woman known to be considering bidding.

Other Blackburn with Darwen councillors being touted include Shear Brow’s Solly Khonat and Bastwell’s Shaukat Hussain.

Former Labour Minister Mr Malik is so far the only former MP to demonstrate a clear interest but several others are expected in January.

Coun Iqbal is joined by Burnley Labour politician Wajid Khan among local Asian party figures interested in standing.

With the constituency’s large South Asian population, interest has come from community figures in Rotherham, London and Nottingham.

The candidates will be whittled down to a shortlist for a vote of all party members.

Comments (4)

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7:59pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Copperhead says...

What Blackburn needs is someone with the ability to sort out all the problems we have because of excessive immigration.
Personally, I believe someone like Reinhard Heydrich or Heinrich Himmler would be best .
What Blackburn needs is someone with the ability to sort out all the problems we have because of excessive immigration. Personally, I believe someone like Reinhard Heydrich or Heinrich Himmler would be best . Copperhead

2:18am Thu 5 Dec 13

doylerf says...

Coun Hollern , ha ha ha. What a joke, won't be a women only (breach of equality) short list. It will be a muslim only (breach of equality) short list.
Don't care for labour, but Carol Walsh would get my vote, tru working councillor, good MP I'd think.
Coun Hollern , ha ha ha. What a joke, won't be a women only (breach of equality) short list. It will be a muslim only (breach of equality) short list. Don't care for labour, but Carol Walsh would get my vote, tru working councillor, good MP I'd think. doylerf

9:10am Thu 5 Dec 13

Lancs Away says...

Should be absolutely compulsory that it is a Brit born and bred, white, non Muslim local....there I have said it....if one of the local Iqbal's, Hussain's or whoever gets in....finish the sentence in 25 words of less, hahaha
Should be absolutely compulsory that it is a Brit born and bred, white, non Muslim local....there I have said it....if one of the local Iqbal's, Hussain's or whoever gets in....finish the sentence in 25 words of less, hahaha Lancs Away

8:45pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Republican says...

I'd like to see a republican nominated by the Labour party as Jack Straw's replacement. Straw mellowed towards the monarchy as he got older wheras a true democrat would push for abolition of the monarchy. Amongst the candidates suggested I see some very self-serving would-be MPs. I think I'll be voting Green.
I'd like to see a republican nominated by the Labour party as Jack Straw's replacement. Straw mellowed towards the monarchy as he got older wheras a true democrat would push for abolition of the monarchy. Amongst the candidates suggested I see some very self-serving would-be MPs. I think I'll be voting Green. Republican

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