Socialist Worker

Holes in Labour’s safe seat parachutes

Issue No. 2196

Labour has hit trouble as it parachutes last-minute candidates into “safe seats”.

Posh Cambridge-educated Tristram Hunt, who is best mates with Lord Mandelson, has caused a huge row after being “fast-track selected” for Stoke Central constituency.

Hunt said, “It would have been good to have a local candidate on the list so that members could make a proper choice.

“We don’t want to do anything that could create extra problems and divisions in the local party.”

Too late. Local Labour Party secretary Gary Elsby, angry at what he calls the “filthy and squalid affair”, has vowed to stand as an “independent Labour” candidate.

This is another sign of the crisis the party finds itself in—and the bitter power struggles taking place inside it.

The warring factions are installing allies to prepare for the Labour leadership contest that most think will follow the election.

It is thought that more MPs will stand down at the last minute as the campaign goes on.

Activists in Stoke are redoubling their efforts to make sure the Nazi BNP does not benefit from the Labour split.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate for Stoke Central is Matthew Wright, the youth officer of the Unison union in Stoke.

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Tue 6 Apr 2010, 18:32 BST
Issue No. 2196
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