Meet Labour's man set to replace John Hutton
Last updated at 12:11, Friday, 19 June 2009
BARROW and Furness could be contested by a rising star of the Labour Party in the next general election.
John Woodcock, 30, was an aide to MP John Hutton from 2005 until late last year and is currently a special advisor to Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
He is now being backed by local party stalwarts as the man to step into Mr Hutton’s shoes and keep Barrow and Furness a Labour seat.
Mr Woodcock told the Evening Mail: “I’ve been bowled over by the response from party members in Barrow since John announced he was going to stand down.
“Obviously, the process [of selecting a replacement] hasn’t started yet but it would be an enormous honour to be able to represent the area.
“I know Barrow really well. I am from Sheffield originally but I love this town.The people and party members have been absolutely fantastic to me, my wife Mandy and our baby daughter.
“I worked for John for several years before working for Gordon Brown now. I had the chance to meet people in the town and have been able to help the local Labour group in campaigning about the mess the Tory council is making of their time in charge of the borough council.
“I think it would be disastrous for Barrow and the area if David Cameron and the Tories got into power at the next election and I am determined not to see that happen because people’s futures and the future of the town depends on a Labour government continuing to invest in the industries here, keeping people in jobs and getting people back into work.
“The Tories would take all of that money away and undo all of the good work and the optimism that has built up in the town.
“I am determined not to let that happen.”
He added: “This is a town which really benefits from the investment that Labour have been able to make through its commitment to the region through bodies like the regional development agency.
“The investment going into the marina, for example – that is through the government investing there and committing to regional development.
“The Tories would take all that away. The government is also committed to continued investment in the shipyard. The Tories would put all that at risk.
“The threat that would be posed by the Tories getting back in here is enormous. I want to play whatever part I can to stand up for Barrow and stand on a national stage. With the experience I’ve got I can really help stand up for Barrow.”
Terry McSorley, spokesman for Barrow and Furness Labour Party, said the formal selection process had not started.
But he added: “John Woodcock has been approached by a number of members to ask if he would put himself forward for the seat. On a personal level, John has worked for us over a number of years in Barrow and he would be an excellent choice, although you have to bear in mind that no votes have been cast yet.”
Mr McSorley said the process would begin within the next two weeks.
The National Executive Committee has to declare the seat void before applications are accepted from eligible candidates.
The constituency party is waiting for guidance on the process but CVs will be issued to party members and a shortlist prepared if needed, before members, of which there are between 200 and 300, vote to select a candidate.
Mr Woodward, 30, was born and brought up in Sheffield. He is married to Mandy and the couple have a six-month-old daughter, Maisie.
Mr Hutton announced he was resigning from his position as defence secretary on June 5 and said he would not be contesting his seat at the next election.
He had been MP for Barrow and Furness since 1992 when he took the seat with a 3,578 majority, which he increased to 14,497 in 1997.
Gordon Brown has until June next year to call a general election.
First published at 11:36, Friday, 19 June 2009
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
I suppose this is why the FGH scandal bandwagon can come in very handy when it comes to self promotion? But as with any local election, the Term "No change in overall control" springs to mind when you weigh up the difference between Mr Woodcock, MP & Mr Hutton, MP? Er! Sorry Lord Hutton, I forgot about the title for Services to Tony Blair? I wonder if this will be allowed passed the Evening Mails moderator or will it be to near the mark? We are watching!
If he could do something with that eyesore we call Dalton Road, he'd get my vote. How many more 99p stores does that Street need?
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