Tuesday, 30 June 2009

By-election date imminent

A Norwich North by-election was due to be called today - however it is understood former MP Dr Ian Gibson will not be standing as an independent candidate.
Two days after selecting Chris Ostrowski as their candidate, the Labour party has been persuaded to move quickly to get the by-election out of the way.
And with Gordon Brown setting out his political stall in his 'Building Britain's Future' re-launch yesterday the government is all set to put his revamped policy menu to the voters in Norwich North at the earliest opportunity of July 23.
And culture secretary Ben Bradshaw, who was in the city campaigning with Mr Ostrowski at Sparhawk School in Sprowston, yesterday became the first senior member of the government to call for an early by-election date - stating it would be fought on a 12-year government record which included falling crime in the city, the building of new schools, and the new Norfolk and Norwich Hospital which had seen waiting times fall.
“It's going to be difficult but it's great that we have in Chris a young and enthusiastic candidate,” Mr Bradshaw said. “The opinion poll over the weekend showed it's neck and neck with the Conservatives, the Lib Dems can't win here.
“The Tories have foolishly committed themselves to at least 10pc cuts across the board,” he added. “They have got to start telling people in Norwich how many fewer police, teachers and classroom assistants there will be.”
The culture secretary also insisted that the new candidate also had the backing of his predecessor.
“Ian is a great friend of Norwich and has been a fantastic MP. I spoke to him today and he made it absolutely clear that he fully supports Chris,” he added. “He wants Labour Party members and Labour voters to really get behind Chris and Ian doesn't want to sacrifice his great legacy.”
Mr Ostrowski, who works as a product manager for John Lewis in London, but will be basing himself in the city during the campaign, was previously Labour's seventh placed candidate for the region in this month's European elections, the lowest possible, but he insists he is the man for the future in Norwich North.
On his 28-year-old shoulders will now fall the twin by-election burdens of either trying to hold the seat in the wake of a collapse of support for Labour nationally or stemming the scale of any defeat.
He insisted he would be his own man - and even confessed he had worked with Dr Gibson to New Labour's university tuition fees policy, when he was a student officer at the UEA, before later changing his mind.
Dr Gibson has kept himself out of the spotlight since his de-selection, and there was again no word from him yesterday. But he did manage to stoke rumours he would stand as an independent during an impromptu interview in the street with Newsnight's Michael Crick last week.
Today sources close to the MP said there was no chance of him standing, and he had simply been caught off guard outside his office, being lured into a conversation on camera when he should simply have walked away.
In fact it is understood that Dr Gibson is working through the process of closing his Norwich office and is expected to take a long break after that.
Norwich Evening News 24

HOPE not hate, Norfolk, will be campaigning against the undemocratic BNP in this by-election, because of its divisive and possibly illegal policies.

1 comment:

  1. The data has now been confirmed as July 23rd.