Thursday, August 27, 2009


Not one of mine, for once, but the Echo's. They ran a piece this morning about one of the potential candidates for Alan Milburn's seat, Roger Baker, in terms that suggested he had already been chosen as PPC.

Quite naturally, my fellow blogger and LibDem candidate for Darlington Mike Barker picked up on this, and wrote a mischievous piece about the death of democracy in the Labour Party, blacks arts of spin, yadda yadda. Mike's favoured candidate for the position, it seems, is my Cabinet colleague Jenny Chapman, although I'm not sure how much authority Mike carries in Darlington CLP...

Anyway, very helpfully, Pete Barron has blogged this evening explaining that it was all an editorial mistake, and the piece should simply have read that providing there's an open shortlist, then Roger will seek selection. No doubt there will be a suitably prominent correction in the Echo's Darlington pages in the morning.

In fact, having talked to at least three of the possible hopefuls looking to fill the vacancy left by Alan Milburn, I can verify that no-one yet has confirmed they will be standing, although entirely sensibly, several people are "taking soundings" locally.

Between now and November (if that's when the selection is) there are likely to be plenty more rumours swilling round, so it will be good if we don't get any more false reports like this one that has party members choking over their cornflakes. As an observer to the proceedings, I shall of course be taking a close interest - I'll be blogging on women-only shortlists soon.


ex-labour said...

Oh no "It's the hair bear bunch" never! from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Nick you should go for it and if not usurp Johno!

Anonymous said...

My understanding Nick is that young Roger has already been sucking up to the great and the good in Darlington this weekend and that Chris Close has gotten wind of it and is already blogging on it.

Also he has commented on Peter Barron's general sucking up to New Labour...........

Anonymous said...

Who the **** is Roger Baker another nobody we have never heard of whats wrong with getting good people to stand?

Anonymous said...

For Labour to have any chance they need to get a genuinly local person to stand next time.

Much has been rumoured on the possibility of Cllr Jenny Chapman standing. She would be a good choice, though perhaps her past working afiliation with Milburn may go against her.
She is pleasant,intelligent and articulate and would make a worthy opponent for Mike Barker as strong local candidates that most can relate to....unlike a certain other candidate !