Pair withdraw from by-election race
Two people hotly speculated to replace MP Dr Ian Gibson have ruled themselves out as challengers for the North Norwich seat.
John Cowan, vice chairman of the Norfolk Labour Party, was one of the first to throw his hat into the ring to stand as the Labour candidate for the Norwich North seat. But now the 34-year-old, who lives in Barnham Broom, has said he will no longer challenge the position left vacant after Dr Gibson was caught up in the MPs' expenses scandal, because he wants to focus on commercial activities.
In a blow to his party, he also said he believes a man cannot win the seat which is also being contested by Conservative parliamentary candidate Chloe Smith.
Meanwhile, Phil Taylor, who manages media at Norwich City College and is a former government adviser, confirmed he is not planning to stand.
Mr Cowan, who had been selected as the Labour candidate in South East Cambridgeshire, said: “I don't think the seat can be won by a man because Chloe is such a strong female candidate and probably only a female candidate from the Labour party can actually successfully beat Chloe in this by-election campaign.”
Meanwhile, Mr Taylor, who has been critical of Dr Gibson's deselection, said he had given it some thought but decided not to stand.
The by-election has been called after Dr Gibson's retirement earlier this month following his involvement in the expenses scandal.
A spokeswoman for Norwich Labour said she could not comment on Mr Cowan's reasons for withdrawing.
The final date for applications was June 21.
Norwich Evening News