Labour Party hopefuls battle for General Election place


Pendle Constituency Labour Party has drawn up a shortlist of five from which its candidate will be chosen to fight the seat at the 2015 General Election.

The five were chosen from six would-be candidates who met local party officials in Nelson on Sunday.

Party members in Pendle will now vote at the Silverman Hall, Nelson, on Sunday, September 15th, to choose the candidate who they want to fight sitting Conservative MP Andrew Stephenson at the next election.

The five are:

Lesley Delves, the only woman on the list.

She lives in Southport and works for Liverpool City Council as a Visitor Economy Officer in the regeneration sector promoting culture and tourism.

She stood as a candidate in the local elections in Southport in 2012, running the most visible and successful campaign in the town’s Labour Party’s history and coming second against a sitting councillor of 40 years. She has been a member of Unison for 14 years.

Colne man Malcolm Birks, an architect who lives in Carry Lane.

He was born and bred locally and has helped to build new schools close by as part of the last Labour government’s investment in education.

He says Labour’s candidate will need the ability, energy and broad-ranging appeal to convince people across Pendle to vote Labour.

Experienced East Lancashire campaigner Marcus Johnstone, who has served for more than 30 years as a district and county councillor.

He is a former journalist who covered local events in Pendle for nine years and then retrained as a teacher before starting a new career as a lecturer at Nelson and Colne College. He has also worked as a regeneration officer for a regionally-based housing organisation.

He lives in Burnley and is currently a member of both Burnley and Lancashire County Councils.

Pendle Constituency Labour Party president Azhar Ali.

Born and brought up in Pendle and currently living in Brierfield, he has been actively involved in community work across Pendle for over 25 years.

He is a former leader of Pendle Council and is currently the County Councillor for Nelson South and Cabinet Member for Health and Well-being.

Salford city councillor Jim King.

He has put forward a 10-point plan designed to guarantee for every young person of a job and or training/apprenticeships paid for by a bankers’ “bonus tax”, renationalising the NHS by repealing “Lansley’s Law”, ensuring every child achieves good GCSE grades by sharing “best practice” from high achieving schools through more co-operation and less competition and introducing financial transfer and land value taxes.