The Labour Party has drawn up a long list of potential candidates to replace Barry Sheerman as Huddersfield’s MP following the veteran parliamentarian’s decision to stand down at the next general election.
The Local Democracy Reporting Service understands that there will be a meeting this weekend to agree on the timetable for the process of drawing up a short list. Following a six-week process, a candidate is set to be selected by the middle of July.
The seven candidates on the long list are:
- James Flinders – Former York councillor for Guildhall ward.
- Hugh Goulbourne – A commercial lawyer based in Huddersfield and chair of Huddersfield Cooperative Party who was on the shortlist to Labour’s candidate for West Yorkshire Mayor. Endorsed by USDAW, the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers.
- Mus Khan – Kirklees councillor for Dalton ward and Cabinet member for Health and Social Care.
- Naheed Mather – Kirklees councillor for Dalton ward and Cabinet member for Environment. She was previously on the Labour Party shortlist for Blackburn and was a candidate for Leicester South.
- Mark Morris – Secretary of Kirklees Constituency Labour Party. Nominated by the Commercial Workers Union (CWU), Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA), and Unite.
- Shabir Pandor – Leader of Kirklees Council and ward councillor for Batley West. Endorsed by the GMB.
- Harpreet Uppal – Former Kirklees councillor in Ashbrow ward and currently senior office manager and campaign lead for Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams. Endorsed by Unison.
One name missing from the long list is that of Tyler Hawkins, the chair of Huddersfield Constituency Labour Party, a newly elected councillor for Dalton ward, and a popular figure among members. He had announced his intention to run in a video posted on social media but has been unsuccessful.
Writing on social media Cllr Hawkins declared himself “obviously disappointed” but looked forward to working with “whoever was selected as Labour candidate to make our town the best it can be.”
Huddersfield MP Mr Sheerman, 81, who was first elected in 1979, announced in December that he would not be standing at the next general election. In 2019 he held the seat with a majority of 4,937 or 49% of the vote.
The former select committee chair said representing Huddersfield “has been the honour of my life”.
Mr Sheerman has previously said that he is not championing anyone for the Labour candidacy and is not involved in the selection process, but hopes his successor is someone who will be “energetic, who knows Huddersfield and is rooted in the area.”