MP loses bid for ‘safe’ seat
August 08, 2007
CONTEST: Stewart will still have to fight Hazel Blears
IAN Stewart, whose Eccles constituency is set to disappear due to boundary changes, has lost a bid to defend a `safe’ Bolton seat at the next general election.
The MP’s seat will vanish as changes reduce the number of parliamentary constituencies in the borough of Salford to two.
Now he will have to fight former Labour Party chairman – and newly-appointed government minister – Hazel Blears for her Salford seat.
Labour party officials had hoped that a potentially embarrassing contest with Ms Blears would be avoided by Mr Stewart getting the nomination for Bolton South-East after Dr Brian Iddon retires at the next election.
But at a meeting of constituency party delegates Mr Stewart got just two votes.
Dr Iddon’s decision to step down triggered huge interest in what is considered a safe Labour seat with 53 applications.
London barrister Yasmin Qureshi and constituency chairman Kevin Meagher are now seen as leading contenders. Also on the short-list are Julie Hilling, vice-chairman of the Bolton West constituency party, Hackney councillor Nargis Khan, Bolton councillor Akhtar Zaman and Altrincham vet Richard Jackson.
Mr Stewart said: “I was late putting my hat in the ring and so did not have time to raise my personal profile enough.”
He lost out to Barbara Keeley last year when he challenged her for the new Worsley and Eccles South seat.
Now Mr Stewart faces the contest for Ms Blears’ seat – which was delayed when she decided to run for the deputy leadership of the party. Gordon Brown made Ms Blears Communities Secretary in June and she would start as favourite to beat Mr Stewart.
WELL WE ALL KNOW THAT RESULT,LABOUR PICKED HAZEL!! AND TODAY THEY PICK MR STEWART THE RATIONAL HE IS MORE ELECTABLE,STRANGE THAT THEY FEEL THERE OWN LEADER FOR SO LONG UNSUITABLE..