John Woodcock in bid to be Furness MP
Last updated at 11:00, Monday, 02 November 2009
THE Prime Minister’s advisor John Woodcock has been overwhelmingly chosen to contest the Barrow and Furness seat at the next general election – and pledges to fight for jobs at the shipyard.
One of his rivals, 24-year-old Barrovian Cat Smith, missed the Labour party constituency selection meeting after falling victim to swine flu.
Mr Woodcock, who is Gordon Brown’s political spokesman, was always the main front-runner and won by nearly five votes to one.
More than 80 people attended the hustings in Victoria Hall in Barrow on Saturday afternoon, and around 50 people voted by post.
Mr Woodcock received more than 100 votes with his nearest rival, human rights barrister Mark McDonald, who also attended the hustings, picking up 22 votes.
Oxford city councillor Saj Malik was the third of the five short-listed nominees in attendance but London campaigner Adenike Adimbola-Akindele was absent.
A Labour official read out the prepared speech by parliamentary researcher Ms Smith.
After the meeting, Mr Woodcock told the Evening Mail he was honoured and privileged to have been selected.
He said: “I love this area and am proud to have been given this chance. John Hutton has served with great pride and passion as Barrow and Furness MP since 1992, and I am determined to stand up and fight, as he has, for the families in this town.
“The next election will be a big choice about the change we want. The Tories represent change that many cannot afford.
“One message has come across loud and clear from Labour members right across the constituency – we must make jobs and growth for Barrow and Furness in the shipyard and the wider economy our number one priority.”
A Sheffield-born former journalist, Mr Woodcock has strong experience working with the Barrow and Furness Labour Party, including organising their council election campaign in 2007 and 2008.
He was also a special advisor to Mr Hutton from 2005 to 2008 in his positions in the cabinet.
Ann Thomson, chair of the Barrow and Furness Labour Party, was delighted at the outcome.
She added: “John Woodcock is the very best person for the job that needs to be done and has already shown that he’s very deeply committed to Furness and the needs of our community.
“The Barrow and Furness membership were greatly impressed with John’s knowledge and understanding of the role that is required both for a candidate and a Member of Parliament. “We are proud as a local party to present John to the electorate of Barrow and Furness and firmly believe that although there is much work to be done he can become the next MP for our constituency and ensure that Labour continues to represent Barrow and Furness in Westminster.
“I would wish to express my thanks and appreciation to all the other candidates who have conducted themselves admirably throughout the selection process.”
One Labour insider, who did not wish to be named, told the Evening Mail it was a shame Cat Smith was unable to be there.
He said: “Everyone felt really sorry for her. She has impressed people as a local lass who rolled up her sleeves and made a go of it.
“She has got a lot to offer in the future and we all hope she stays involved.”
Miss Smith's father Alan Smith – who attended the meeting as a proxy before going on to the Holker Street FA Cup game – said his daughter had the spirit to fight another day. Ms Smith was last night still barely well enough to express her devastation at missing out on the final selection meeting.
She said: “On Saturday I was so sick there was a paramedic called out to visit me at home. John Woodcock is clearly experienced at the highest levels of government and I wish him the best of luck in Barrow and Furness.”
First published at 13:10, Monday, 26 October 2009
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
I for one can't wait until this politician knocks at my door. My son has been to Iraq three times and having watched question time on Thursday night I find out that Jack Straws father was in prison for not wanting to rid the world of the Nazis, but was okay to let other peoples fathers, sons, mothers and daughters die for the democratic cause!! How dare the Labour Party preach about the fight for democracy when they themselves are too cowardly to fight alongside our boys and girls who have given so selfishly! I find nearly all MP's are for the most part morally corrupt, but have now highlighted themselves as two faced liars of the first order. Bring it on Woodcock, I want to see just how slimy you will be defending the thieving Westminster brigade! Not just content to steal money from us [the public/expenses scandal] you are going to join those that have stolen young lives also!!!! I thought that MP's couldn't sink any further, but after Thursday night, I realise that there are several levels of low yet to be explored by you and your kind!
So if john Woodcock is elected he will fight for jobs in the Yard.
What a load of hippocritical rubbish,Labour MP's have not fought for one British Job since Brown came to power,Mandy ,Browns partner in the destruction in British manufacturing industries,may have saved a few jobs in the car industries,but very little has been done by these Euro Despots
to keep jobs in Britain.
Brown said not long ago,Britsh Jobs for British workers,if he was true to his word,what has Woodcock got to fight for.
The jobs shouls stay in Barrow automatically, unless Brown has got an alternative motive for Barrow.
Lets say,run Barrow Yard down and let the frech do the work.
I wouldn't trust Brown and his compratiates one inch.
Neither should Barrow workers.
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