Eight potential candidates were interviewed today for the Manchester Central by-election following the selection of Tony Lloyd (unopposed) as Labour candidate for Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner. Not an all-woman shortlist, it turns out, and not as numerous as it could have been – just two women and two men.
Anyone looking to back a left-winger will be disappointed and may well have to settle for the one outsider, Patrick Vernon, a councillor in the London Borough of Hackney and Chief Executive of the Afiya Trust that works to reduce inequalities in health and social care provision for BME communities.
The remainder are all from Manchester: Lucy Powell is Ed Miliband’s deputy chief of staff and was candidate in neighbouring Withington in the 2010 general election. She must be ‘the one to beat’. The other two are Manchester local councillors: Mike Amesbury is Cabinet member for Culture and, like Lucy, a constituency party representative on the national policy forum elected on the Progress slate. Finally, Rose Battle, who works for Graham Stringer MP, is Mike’s deputy.
At Labour Uncut, there is further information about Afzal Khan, former Lord Mayor of Manchester, who was surprisingly not included on the shortlist.