The Reading West Labour selection race to replace retiring MP Martin Salter is now into its short-list stage. Only one local Councillor has made it to the final eight and he is Cllr Paul Gittings an amiable cycling enthusiast and tri-athlete. He is Labour’s Lead Councillor for Environment and Sustainability and their “Cycling Champion” on Reading Borough Council. Four of the eight finalists are women.
The full short-list is as follows:
Raj Chada – former Labour leader of Camden and Chairman of the Holborn & St Pancras Labour Party
Kelly Edwards – works for Reading based PR company Green Issues and stood for Labour in Hertsmere in 2005
Cllr Paul Gittings – Lead Councillor for Environment and Sustainability and “Cycling Champion” on Reading Borough Council
Cllr Denise Headley – Councillor in the London Borough of Enfield
Cllr Lisa Homan – former Parliamentary candidate in Sutton & Cheam and wannabe MEP
Anne Moore-Williams – a lawyer from Vauxhall Constituency Labour Party and also recently short-listed for NW Leicestershire. Stood in Bexhill & Battle in 2001. She was previously a Croydon Cllr.
Cllr Naz Sarkar – a Waltham Forest Councillor who has contested a number of seats. Described by his local newspaper as “gaffe prone”
Cllr Richard Williams – I am now reliably informed that he is the Southampton Cllr Richard Williams.
If you have any more information about their political backgrounds please do let me know.
So if you missed Jane’s comment on the Reading political scene you can get your daily dose once again.
Welcome back Jane!
The Telegraph has a report that up to 12 Blairite Labour MPs are in discussion with the Lib Dems about crossing the floor of the Commons, or even forming their own party.
I do expect to see one or two defections in the next twelve months or so. Several Labour MPs have indicated publicly that they are unhappy with Gordon Brown’s premiership and it is within the realm of possibility that a few could jump ship. However, if such a momentous defection as the Telegraph suggests was on the cards, it is likely that the participants would do everything to keep it secret until ready to go public.
Personally I think it unlikely that so many would cross in a co-ordinated way and this has the flavour of a misguided Lib Dem puff piece. More credible is the rumour reported here of a single Labour MP about to cross over.
We will have to watch and wait.