Sunday, March 13, 2011

Aaron Porter, Jonathan Ashworth and Leicester South

There is great excitement tonight at reports that Aaron Porter may seek the Labour nomination for the Leicester South by-election. Maybe this is just an attempt by his far-left opponents in the National Union of Students to discredit him. After all, it usually takes a good two years for former NUS hacks to re-emerge as Labour MPs.

If the reports are true, I suspect that having him as Labour candidate would turn out to be one of those ideas that seems very clever at the time and very silly ever afterwards. And whether or not it would be good for Labour, it would certainly be bad for Master Porter, who already risk overexposure at a tender age.

But there is another interesting story about Labour and Leicester South.

As I blogged the other day, Labour insiders say that Ed Miliband's PR chief Jonathan Ashworth is the frontrunner for the nomination. Certainly, Rory Palmer - one of the most prominent local candidates mentioned - is now out of the running having accepted the post of Sir Peter Soulsby's deputy - assuming that Soulsby wins the election for Mayor in May.

This is interesting because Ashworth is married to Emilie Oldknow - Gordon Brown even attended their wedding. And Emilie Oldknow is the Labour Party's "regional director" for the East Midlands.

Can it really be, as I have heard suggested, that Oldknow is in charge of the Labour selection process in Leicester South and that her name is on the bottom of the letter that is sent out to prospective candidates?

Later. Aaron Potter has tweeted saying he will not be seeking the Labour candidacy.

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