When the seagulls follow the trawler

LOCAL Labour folk meet tonight for a members’ meeting and every time they do that right now, a fair few people lean forward to see whether Frank Dobson will make a special announcement about you know what.

Even if the Holborn and St Pancras MP does choose the gathering as his moment to tell members of his plans for the future, the selection of a new candidate for the constituency is now likely to drag on into the autumn months.

First, Labour’s central office bods must rule on whether it will be an all-women’s shortlist. The indication is it won’t. Then, there is the general acceptance that it’s not a great thing to run a selection contest over the summer holiday period.

For some members, having a say on who their local candidate is, is one of the biggest attractions of being a member at all and to have the debate and hustings in August would be a sure fire way to irritate them. So, whether it’s tonight, or not tonight, finding a candidate to follow Frank may take a few months yet. It’s worth pointing out that the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats do not have a candidate in place for next May’s general election, either.

ggAfter Frank and council leader Sarah Hayward have filed their updates at tonight’s meeting, the special guest speaker is Margaret Hodge, the only picture in the New Journal archives of whom we have of her is this one with Kentish Town ward councillor Georgia Gould in 2003.

Funny thing is, do you know what the reaction of some members has been to this date in the diary with the former children’s minister? In various different ways, members have questioned whether she is on tour because fancies running for Mayor.

People can be so suspicious.


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