St Helens Labour fear 'outsider' will be parachuted in for MP race

St Helens Star: St Helens Labour fear 'outsider' will be parachuted in for MP race St Helens Labour fear 'outsider' will be parachuted in for MP race

GRASSROOTS Labour members fear a candidate from outside St Helens will be “parachuted in” to contest the MP’s seat that will be vacated by Shaun Woodward at the next general election.

The Star revealed at the start of January that the Labour Party will select its candidate for the St Helens South and Whiston seat from an all woman shortlist.

The decision – taken at national level by the party as part of policy to ensure greater diversity in Parliament – was unpopular among Star readers in an online poll.

Despite the fact the move could result in the town getting its first ever woman MP, 87per cent of voters would prefer an open selection process.

There is also a genuine fear among Labour figures in St Helens that there will be a repeat of 2001, when Labour parachuted in Mr Woodward, a former Tory MP for Witney in Oxfordshire, to one of the safest Labour seats in the country.

Local Labour sources – who are determined that a candidate with strong St Helens ties gets a chance - say several possible candidates are ex-special advisors who want selection.

The source said: “Special advisors are often seen to receive preferential treatment when it comes to selections and many have been parachuted into constituencies in the past.

“The local party have made their views known that they wish the candidate who is selected to be a local person with strong ties to the constituency.”

As predicted in the Star a fortnight ago, Marie Rimmer, the veteran councillor and ex-town hall leader, confirmed she will be entering the fray as a contender at the age of 66.

She was controversially overlooked in 2001 when Mr Woodward was brought in at the last minute to replace the outgoing Gerry Bermingham.

In a statement she said: “Representing my hometown in Parliament would be a tremendous honour and I’m certain I am capable of doing the job and fighting for St Helens South and Whiston.

“I have been inundated with Labour members asking me to consider standing, it was an easy decision to make and I’m standing because I’m passionate about our town.

“It’s my home, it’s where my family grew up, and I believe our best days are ahead of us.

“As the selection process moves ahead I am looking forward to campaigning to be selected.”

Intriguingly, Cllr Rimmer’s announcement was issued by council leader Barrie Grunewald, who claimed her seat of power on St Helens Council after a leadership challenge last May.

Relations between the pair were thought to be frosty but this week he offered a glowing endorsement of her candidacy.

Grunewald said: “Marie Rimmer has shown a lifetime of experience and commitment to St Helens. I can think of no stronger voice to fight for St Helens and Whiston at Westminster.

“I know Marie will fight for our town and has the ability to deliver results – there simply is no one better to be St Helens MP.”

Comments (12)

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1:56pm Wed 29 Jan 14

And Justice For All says...

Let's be honest here. Not one of these candiates wil give one jot about the town. They're all about their ego and looking after themselves.
Having an outsider in will make no difference to the area.
Let's be honest here. Not one of these candiates wil give one jot about the town. They're all about their ego and looking after themselves. Having an outsider in will make no difference to the area. And Justice For All

3:07pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Sankey says...

Rats in a sack

The same useless bunch allocating the roles in the safest seat in the country.

Grunewald is comical in his positioning with Marie rimmer would he be saying the same were it not an all woman short list and given the history?

I would prefer a new face why do people have to have a local background that is a disadvantage in these circumstances better to have someone with new ideas outside the cosy circle
Rats in a sack The same useless bunch allocating the roles in the safest seat in the country. Grunewald is comical in his positioning with Marie rimmer would he be saying the same were it not an all woman short list and given the history? I would prefer a new face why do people have to have a local background that is a disadvantage in these circumstances better to have someone with new ideas outside the cosy circle Sankey

5:43pm Wed 29 Jan 14

trajan says...

A “parachuted in” candidate carries the banner of the central office not the banner of the local office that you want which is precisely why Marie Rimmer or any other local candidate will not be chosen.
A “parachuted in” candidate carries the banner of the central office not the banner of the local office that you want which is precisely why Marie Rimmer or any other local candidate will not be chosen. trajan

10:00pm Wed 29 Jan 14

jumperr says...

If the local contestants where up to the job it would already speak for itself,I I don't know who we will get but let's hope it is somebody who will do what they present to the electorate because looking at what we have been told in the past no way represents what is happening
If the local contestants where up to the job it would already speak for itself,I I don't know who we will get but let's hope it is somebody who will do what they present to the electorate because looking at what we have been told in the past no way represents what is happening jumperr

12:11pm Thu 30 Jan 14

StHelens#90 says...

Some of the comments that have been left on here are laughable, seriously people, get a grip! You're seriously saying that an outsider who doesn't give a flying biscuit about St Helens would do a better job than a local candidate! Rimmer might not be ideal, but one thing you can say for her is that she does care about our town, she's from our town, her children grew up here, she helped clear up a load of the corruption going on in the council in the 80's which she DID do by the way! We need somebody who fill fight for us in westminster not somebody that lives 90% of te time in the City Of London!
Some of the comments that have been left on here are laughable, seriously people, get a grip! You're seriously saying that an outsider who doesn't give a flying biscuit about St Helens would do a better job than a local candidate! Rimmer might not be ideal, but one thing you can say for her is that she does care about our town, she's from our town, her children grew up here, she helped clear up a load of the corruption going on in the council in the 80's which she DID do by the way! We need somebody who fill fight for us in westminster not somebody that lives 90% of te time in the City Of London! StHelens#90

2:37pm Thu 30 Jan 14

jumperr says...

So our MPS have never fought for the town,well there you go,and the councillors never do what they say there gonna do,well there you go
So our MPS have never fought for the town,well there you go,and the councillors never do what they say there gonna do,well there you go jumperr

5:53pm Thu 30 Jan 14

ferretcat says...

There's a lot of 'outsiders' in our council already so one more wouldn't make a bit of difference.
Local councillors should be local to the community they live in and local MPs should represent their constituency but it doesn't work like that at all.
There's a lot of 'outsiders' in our council already so one more wouldn't make a bit of difference. Local councillors should be local to the community they live in and local MPs should represent their constituency but it doesn't work like that at all. ferretcat

6:50pm Fri 31 Jan 14

keepitreel says...

sthelens#90,i would agree with you if this town was a thriving hub of activity,with a state of the art shopping centre,jobs for all,had thriving new technology campuses employing the top people and was know as a place to invest,instead of a dingy run down stuck in the 70;s back water,its all well and good saying cllr RIMMER stood up for the town but what good did it do and was she good enough for the job,anyone can promise things then shout at the people who hand out the cash,only to be patted on the head and sent away as everyone around seems to prosper,then come back and said "i tried but it was xyz's fault"the buck should have stopped at her door 10 years ago but no one had the guts to stop her,but having a lot of your relations in high places helped.give me one creditable thing that improved this town under her leadership that could not have been achived by another person and i will listen to your argument.
sthelens#90,i would agree with you if this town was a thriving hub of activity,with a state of the art shopping centre,jobs for all,had thriving new technology campuses employing the top people and was know as a place to invest,instead of a dingy run down stuck in the 70;s back water,its all well and good saying cllr RIMMER stood up for the town but what good did it do and was she good enough for the job,anyone can promise things then shout at the people who hand out the cash,only to be patted on the head and sent away as everyone around seems to prosper,then come back and said "i tried but it was xyz's fault"the buck should have stopped at her door 10 years ago but no one had the guts to stop her,but having a lot of your relations in high places helped.give me one creditable thing that improved this town under her leadership that could not have been achived by another person and i will listen to your argument. keepitreel

2:03am Sat 1 Feb 14

anthonywilson says...

I think it would be positive for St Helens to have a female MP but you can't really fight discrimination by positive discrimination. The whole things smacks of how Labour views St Helens as a town of convenience for its own political ends. I'm fascinated as to why people haven't yet realised that on the most substantive issues of the day, you can't put a piece of paper between the three main parties. All follow the prevailing neoliberal orthodoxy despite the pretence. Pity we don't have a local person standing as an independent who is prepared to take up the role for a more modest salary and who would simply put St Helens first; not themselves, nor a party they represent.
I think it would be positive for St Helens to have a female MP but you can't really fight discrimination by positive discrimination. The whole things smacks of how Labour views St Helens as a town of convenience for its own political ends. I'm fascinated as to why people haven't yet realised that on the most substantive issues of the day, you can't put a piece of paper between the three main parties. All follow the prevailing neoliberal orthodoxy despite the pretence. Pity we don't have a local person standing as an independent who is prepared to take up the role for a more modest salary and who would simply put St Helens first; not themselves, nor a party they represent. anthonywilson

8:14am Sat 1 Feb 14

jumperr says...

If the local party implemented the policies that where voted for at national level it would not matter where the MP came from as long as they represented what was voted for, our problem has always been closer to home with a we will do what we want because we can, never followed the party line.
If the local party implemented the policies that where voted for at national level it would not matter where the MP came from as long as they represented what was voted for, our problem has always been closer to home with a we will do what we want because we can, never followed the party line. jumperr

12:29pm Mon 3 Feb 14

And Justice For All says...

StHelens#90 wrote:
Some of the comments that have been left on here are laughable, seriously people, get a grip! You're seriously saying that an outsider who doesn't give a flying biscuit about St Helens would do a better job than a local candidate! Rimmer might not be ideal, but one thing you can say for her is that she does care about our town, she's from our town, her children grew up here, she helped clear up a load of the corruption going on in the council in the 80's which she DID do by the way! We need somebody who fill fight for us in westminster not somebody that lives 90% of te time in the City Of London!
Well, you are right on one thing. Rimmer DID clear up corruption in the council. She then proceeded to replace it with her own brand of corruption instead. Yes her family lived in the town and went to the schools. They were also given cushy little well paid jobs if they wanted them. Rimmer didnt give a toss about the town and its area,otherwise the whole area would have equal facilities. This woman lead the destruction of the town and now she wants to come back and finish the job?
To be honest, an outsider would be more than welcome. At least they wont be abusing the town that raised them. That woman is reprehensible.
[quote][p][bold]StHelens#90[/bold] wrote: Some of the comments that have been left on here are laughable, seriously people, get a grip! You're seriously saying that an outsider who doesn't give a flying biscuit about St Helens would do a better job than a local candidate! Rimmer might not be ideal, but one thing you can say for her is that she does care about our town, she's from our town, her children grew up here, she helped clear up a load of the corruption going on in the council in the 80's which she DID do by the way! We need somebody who fill fight for us in westminster not somebody that lives 90% of te time in the City Of London![/p][/quote]Well, you are right on one thing. Rimmer DID clear up corruption in the council. She then proceeded to replace it with her own brand of corruption instead. Yes her family lived in the town and went to the schools. They were also given cushy little well paid jobs if they wanted them. Rimmer didnt give a toss about the town and its area,otherwise the whole area would have equal facilities. This woman lead the destruction of the town and now she wants to come back and finish the job? To be honest, an outsider would be more than welcome. At least they wont be abusing the town that raised them. That woman is reprehensible. And Justice For All

12:32pm Mon 3 Feb 14

And Justice For All says...

One more thing. If you think Rammer wont spend more than 90% of her time down in London (NOT in Westminster I guarantee you) then you are deluded. You wont see her for dust and it'll be expenses all the way fo rher and any other relative she can fix a "job" for.
One more thing. If you think Rammer wont spend more than 90% of her time down in London (NOT in Westminster I guarantee you) then you are deluded. You wont see her for dust and it'll be expenses all the way fo rher and any other relative she can fix a "job" for. And Justice For All

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