The race to find out who will fill the vacant Norwich north seat in the upcoming by-election is hotting up as three new candidates have been unveiled as possible contenders.
The Norwich Green party has released details of the three members who are standing for selection as the party's candidate in the Norwich north Parliamentary by-election, which was called for after the current post holder, Labour MP Dr Ian Gibson resigned in the midst of the Westminster expenses row.
Councillors Claire Stephenson and Rupert Read, and former councillor Jessica Goldfinch, will be attending a meeting tonight when Green Party members will select the candidate.
Jessica Goldfinch, a former Green city councillor who now works part-time in a school in the north of the city and is a single mum to her 11-year-old daughter Hannah, said it would be an honour to serve the Norwich north district.
Rupert Read, Green City Councillor and University of East Anglia (UEA) lecturer, said: “The Green Party has the momentum in Norwich North, and, in politics, momentum is everything. I am looking forward enormously to working with party members, councillors and the people of Norwich to pull off a stunning result in this by-election.”
Claire Stephenson is deputy leader of the Norwich Green Party and an English teacher and said her priorities would be campaigning for investment in improved public transport, rather than the Northern Distributor Road, and pressing the Norwich Airport to address concerns of nearby residents on issues such as night flights. Adrian Ramsay, parliamentary candidate for Norwich south and deputy leader of the Green Party nationally, said: “I'm pleased we are having a healthy democratic contest to select our candidate.
“It will be Green Party members in Norwich making this important decision. Any of the three people nominated would do an excellent job as the new MP for Norwich North and I will be actively supporting the campaign of whoever is chosen to stand by party members.”
On Monday it was revealed former city councillor April Pond had been chosen by the Liberal Democrats to contest the Norwich North by-election while Chloe Smith will stand for the Conservatives.
Labour is expected to name its candidate next Sunday but they have not released the names of any of the 15 candidates who have come forward.
An East of England Labour spokesman said: “We are pleased with the positive response we have had from members who have put their names forward to be the Labour candidate in Norwich North.
“The calibre of people seeking to be the Labour candidate has been extremely high.”
Last week John Cowan, vice-chairman of the Norfolk Labour Party, and Phil Taylor, principle at Norwich City College, ruled themselves out of the Labour race.
Glenn Tingle is the UKIP candidate for Norwich north.
Norwich Evening News 24
24 June 2009 11:00