Labour’s candidate in the 2017 General Election was local Head Teacher John Hayes, who ran an extremely successful campaign, ending up with an increased vote of over 19,000, 8,000 up on the 2015 election result.
John has made it known he won’t stand at the next Election, although he remains highly active and committed to the Labour Party in Hitchin and Harpenden constituency.
The Labour Party has a clear method for managing constituency selection processes, and we have to wait for the Party’s National Executive Committee to tell us when to begin that process here in Hitchin and Harpenden. That notification was received in late November, and we will soon be on the way to choosing Labour’s candidate to seek election to Parliament at the next General Election.
First though members of the constituency party are invited to let their views be known on whether our selection process should be open to all members, or an All Women Selection (referred to as AWS).
There are now 208 Women MPs in the Commons, up from 196 before the 2017 General Election. 119 of Labour’s 262 MPs are women.
We’ll be holding a meeting in Hitchin on Friday 14th December, to discuss the issue, and the NEC will then determine how we should conduct our selection process.
It’s to be hoped that soon into 2019 we will be able to confirm a dynamic new Labour candidate for the Hitchin and Harpenden constituency.
The Tories have held this seat for a long time, but this doesn’t mean there is not considerable dissatisfaction and concern amongst the local electorate. People are worried about cuts to their children’s or grandchildren’s schools. They don’t like the fact that the NHS is being forced to cut budgets across Hertfordshire. They’re annoyed about the degradation of train services from both Hitchin and Harpenden. They’re aware that the introduction of Universal Credit is causing real hardship to many vulnerable people. They’ve seen the stats regarding the growth in use of food banks.
Our Labour candidate will be committed to listening to the concerns of constituents and fighting hard for them in Parliament. We’re not convinced our current MP is showing much fight on behalf of his constituents, and we think Labour can do better.