MP shortlist selection could see local and national parties at odds

Cllr Terry Byron will be among those arguing the town’s next MP should be selected from an open process

It is believed the replacement for Shaun Woodward will be selected from an all-woman shortlist

First published in News by , Senior Reporter

IT is believed that the next MP to replace Shaun Woodward will be selected from an all-woman shortlist in line with national Labour Party policy.

This would however see them at odds with the local Constituency Labour Party (CLP), which would prefer it to be an open selection process.

A Labour insider said the St Helens South and Whiston CLP will meet today, when they will put forward their preferences before it is presented to the national executive committee (NEC).

In a bid to tackle apparent inequality in the Houses of Parliament and expand diversity among MPs the Labour Party implemented a policy to introduce an all-women shortlist.

One possible candidate for the town’s first ever female MP could be former council leader Marie Rimmer CBE, who failed to make the NEC’s shortlist when Woodward won the nomination in 2001.

The Labour Party member said the potential candidates may not live in St Helens but could have links with the town, adding: “Given it’s such a stable seat and the size of the majority it is expected there will be more than 100 applications.

“The reality is that St Helens struggles to get more women to come forward to even be councillors. Labour took a policy some time ago that they wanted a 50/50 representation in Parliament.”

Speaking about the pros and cons of the selection process which could see high profile names omitted if a candidate list was imposed, they added: “If you look at the last Parliamentary selections a large number of people were in their 20s. Some may ask do they have enough life experience?

“[Former Lib Dem leader] Menzies Campbell recently said that we need older people with real life experience.

“If the process was open you could see someone like Keir Starmer, the former director of public prosecutions, who is looking for a Labour seat. It would be difficult to argue against someone of his calibre.”

The chairman of St Helens South and Whiston CLP Cllr Terry Byron said they will make their recommendations but the final decision will be out of their hands.

He said: “In the end it’s the regional party that decides. We can just tell them our preferences.

“I would rather have an open shortlist, but I can guess where they would go. The difficulty is that you could have an outstanding male candidate who would be excluded.

“In my view the Labour Party should be open and democratic and get the best candidate. I would prefer a local working class candidate.”

Comments (14)

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3:08pm Thu 9 Jan 14

And Justice For All says...

Oh great. Rimmers Revenge. Please dont let that woman back into politics of any kind! She's helped destroy the town at council level and now she could do worse at national level too as an MP. At least theres plenty more photo opps at MP level for her. Poor old Bazza though eh. Surely he was groomed (steady!) to take over Shauns not so hot seat. Male or Female it doesnt matter, you can guarantee we end up with an ieffectual, cant be r'sd with the people parasite out to cream off as many expenses as possible. Vermin the lot of them.
Oh great. Rimmers Revenge. Please dont let that woman back into politics of any kind! She's helped destroy the town at council level and now she could do worse at national level too as an MP. At least theres plenty more photo opps at MP level for her. Poor old Bazza though eh. Surely he was groomed (steady!) to take over Shauns not so hot seat. Male or Female it doesnt matter, you can guarantee we end up with an ieffectual, cant be r'sd with the people parasite out to cream off as many expenses as possible. Vermin the lot of them. And Justice For All
  • Score: 16

3:36pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Agee says...

Will be interesting to see if its an all woman selection or open selection. No doubt Barrie already knows the score, as he's been looming around for this seat since he was first parachuted into the town. Surely he's just going to be like Woodward though if he gets the seat? Visiting the Town once a month if we're lucky. Hopefully the selection team would have some sense about and select a local candidate, and not someone just parachuted in.
Will be interesting to see if its an all woman selection or open selection. No doubt Barrie already knows the score, as he's been looming around for this seat since he was first parachuted into the town. Surely he's just going to be like Woodward though if he gets the seat? Visiting the Town once a month if we're lucky. Hopefully the selection team would have some sense about and select a local candidate, and not someone just parachuted in. Agee
  • Score: 9

4:37pm Thu 9 Jan 14

barrie timpson says...

Promoting diversity. By excluding men. Excellent and a prime example of why Labour should not only never regain office - but should be dismantled as a party.
They are dangerous. Why don't we include space rocks in the process? Surely it's not fair for them to be excluded when they are the bedrock of the universe.
Diversity? Equaity? blah blah blah.
Promoting diversity. By excluding men. Excellent and a prime example of why Labour should not only never regain office - but should be dismantled as a party. They are dangerous. Why don't we include space rocks in the process? Surely it's not fair for them to be excluded when they are the bedrock of the universe. Diversity? Equaity? blah blah blah. barrie timpson
  • Score: 4

12:32am Fri 10 Jan 14

Keva68 says...

Spotted Barrie wearing a dress and wig yesterday
Spotted Barrie wearing a dress and wig yesterday Keva68
  • Score: 9

2:01pm Fri 10 Jan 14

kjd161 says...

Whatever happened to best person for the job, regardless of gender? Or am I being naive?
Whatever happened to best person for the job, regardless of gender? Or am I being naive? kjd161
  • Score: 7

3:56pm Fri 10 Jan 14

barrie timpson says...

Keva68 wrote:
Spotted Barrie wearing a dress and wig yesterday
What I do in my own personal time is not the business of anybody on these pages....
[quote][p][bold]Keva68[/bold] wrote: Spotted Barrie wearing a dress and wig yesterday[/p][/quote]What I do in my own personal time is not the business of anybody on these pages.... barrie timpson
  • Score: 4

4:37pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Keva68 says...

barrie timpson wrote:
Keva68 wrote:
Spotted Barrie wearing a dress and wig yesterday
What I do in my own personal time is not the business of anybody on these pages....
Not you our glorious leader ,but feel free;-)
[quote][p][bold]barrie timpson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Keva68[/bold] wrote: Spotted Barrie wearing a dress and wig yesterday[/p][/quote]What I do in my own personal time is not the business of anybody on these pages....[/p][/quote]Not you our glorious leader ,but feel free;-) Keva68
  • Score: 3

8:05pm Fri 10 Jan 14

barrie timpson says...

I don't like dresses - to restricting. Skirt and a top always. Could do with a wig though , getting thinner by the day haha !
I don't like dresses - to restricting. Skirt and a top always. Could do with a wig though , getting thinner by the day haha ! barrie timpson
  • Score: 3

9:07pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Keva68 says...

barrie timpson wrote:
I don't like dresses - to restricting. Skirt and a top always. Could do with a wig though , getting thinner by the day haha !
Ask BG he should have a wardrobe full by now
[quote][p][bold]barrie timpson[/bold] wrote: I don't like dresses - to restricting. Skirt and a top always. Could do with a wig though , getting thinner by the day haha ![/p][/quote]Ask BG he should have a wardrobe full by now Keva68
  • Score: 2

9:24am Sat 11 Jan 14

Bill Bradbury says...

kjd161 wrote:
Whatever happened to best person for the job, regardless of gender? Or am I being naive?
Yes. All women short list caused consternation in the Wigan Labour party. I am totally opposed to this but it should be open and the best person for the job appointed. I refuse to be drawn into personalities and cheap shots at current locals,
We need an MP who will promote St.Helens and not be afraid to have their own view rather than toeing the party line but unlikely to happen due to the Whipping system and collective responsibility.
One reason I left the Tory party in th 70's (thatcher was the other) was at an MEP selection in Leigh Town Hall an ideal Northern experienced candidate was overlloked by some chinless wonder son of a Scottish Laird. As I said at the time if the selection has been run under Jockey Club Rules there would have been a steward's Inquiry.

As the selection is not on my patch I will be just an interested observer. I wish the St.Helens South labour party every good wish-they will need it.
PS Keva I made the dress comment to Barrie some months ago. He thought it was a good idea!!??
[quote][p][bold]kjd161[/bold] wrote: Whatever happened to best person for the job, regardless of gender? Or am I being naive?[/p][/quote]Yes. All women short list caused consternation in the Wigan Labour party. I am totally opposed to this but it should be open and the best person for the job appointed. I refuse to be drawn into personalities and cheap shots at current locals, We need an MP who will promote St.Helens and not be afraid to have their own view rather than toeing the party line but unlikely to happen due to the Whipping system and collective responsibility. One reason I left the Tory party in th 70's (thatcher was the other) was at an MEP selection in Leigh Town Hall an ideal Northern experienced candidate was overlloked by some chinless wonder son of a Scottish Laird. As I said at the time if the selection has been run under Jockey Club Rules there would have been a steward's Inquiry. As the selection is not on my patch I will be just an interested observer. I wish the St.Helens South labour party every good wish-they will need it. PS Keva I made the dress comment to Barrie some months ago. He thought it was a good idea!!?? Bill Bradbury
  • Score: 2

10:20am Sat 11 Jan 14

barrie timpson says...

I still do !
I still do ! barrie timpson
  • Score: 0

12:24pm Sat 11 Jan 14

jumperr says...

This is when we definitely need a parachute.
This is when we definitely need a parachute. jumperr
  • Score: 2

12:34pm Mon 13 Jan 14

anthonywilson says...

What about Labour increasing social diversity and not just diversity in realtion to gender? I agree that more does need to be done to encourage more women to stand a MP's to baalnce things up but I don';t agree with the idea that an all female shortlist will really help. Suppose a upper middle class female candidate is selected with a similar background and financial situation as Shaun Woodward? There's been enough parachuting in to St Helens over the years by Labour and whoever gets the opportunity to stand as the Labour candidate whether male of female it should be someone with a long standing local to connection to St Helens who has experience of what its really like to live here and with some new and different ideas of how to improve things for the people of St Helens and put things right. It would also be nice to have a future MP committed to not taking the full salary either.
What about Labour increasing social diversity and not just diversity in realtion to gender? I agree that more does need to be done to encourage more women to stand a MP's to baalnce things up but I don';t agree with the idea that an all female shortlist will really help. Suppose a upper middle class female candidate is selected with a similar background and financial situation as Shaun Woodward? There's been enough parachuting in to St Helens over the years by Labour and whoever gets the opportunity to stand as the Labour candidate whether male of female it should be someone with a long standing local to connection to St Helens who has experience of what its really like to live here and with some new and different ideas of how to improve things for the people of St Helens and put things right. It would also be nice to have a future MP committed to not taking the full salary either. anthonywilson
  • Score: 5

10:03pm Mon 13 Jan 14

jumperr says...

It might be because of long standing locals that might be behind our plight ,it would have been ok whoever it was or maybe if they follow what they ask to be elected in on
It might be because of long standing locals that might be behind our plight ,it would have been ok whoever it was or maybe if they follow what they ask to be elected in on jumperr
  • Score: 0

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