The news is out on Labour Home and a few other blogsites now, so I can finally announce that I'm delighted to have been selected as one of Labour's 3 candidates for the North East in the 2009 European elections. I'll be fighting for every vote with our excellent Labour MEP Stephen Hughes, and Fay Tinnion, who contested the 2001 General Election campaign in Richmond against William Hague.
In fact the selection was back in February, so I've had to keep it under wraps until now. The Party's gender rules dictated that I could only apply for the third placed seat on the list (there are 3 North East MEP's), but I was delighted to be able to secure this spot, particularly given the fierce competition this time round.
I was selected for the fourth placed seat in 2005, but this disappeared during the campaign when the North East lost a seat owing to the enlargement of the EU, so this time at least I'll make it onto the ballot paper.
The result back in 2005 was a sickener for Labour here in the North East, after we narrowly lost Mo O'Toole's seat to the LibDems. I'll be spending the next 14 months or so working hard to ensure that we take that seat back. And whilst it will require a small (well, enormous) psephological earthquake, I might even get elected too!