A BIT of a blow for Camden’s Labour Party tonight with news that Luciana Berger has been picked as the prospective parliamentary candidate for Liverpool Wavertree. Maybe that’s ‘Shadow MP for Liverpool Wavertree’ in Lib Dem speak.
With about a 5,000 majority to play with, Berger has short cut all that learn your trade on your local council stuff and will be heading straight to the House of Commons. Good for Luciana Berger, but certainly a blow for Labour in Camden.
For in Berger, they are losing one of the bright-eyed freshers who were riven with enthusiasm at September’s Labour party conference and were busy revitalising more seasoned campaigners amid the doom and gloom. She was supposed to be among the new generation of potential Labour councillors heading for the Town Hall – like Awale Olad, Georgia Gould and Tulip Siddiq – and plotting a fightback against the Lib Dems and Conservatives. The party will now have to look for someone else to stand in Somers Town and St Pancras, which in itself should be a Labour hold at May’s council elections.
Berger is, I reckon, only about 28. In that respect, there will surely be some who say that she is a careerist, in a hurry to get somewhere quick. That if she had been elected, the people of Somers Town would have only been represented by somebody distracted by where the next job opening might come from rather than a leaky pipe in Levita House.
The meanest observers might even suggest that the stepping stone of being a Labour councillor in Camden right now might be too far down the food chain for the most ambitious candidates. After all, if Labour fare badly in the boroughwide ballot in May and endure another four years in opposition, Berger would have had to work harder to get noticed.
The party locally will nevertheless be gulping. It is losing a good communicator who would have gone down with voters here in the coming months. It will be interesting to see who they draft into replace her in the campaign.
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