Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ballot for Labour candidates for North West Region European Election

Ballot papers have gone out for the Labour candidates for the North West Region European Elections.

Each Labour Party member has a vote, to identify the order in which they would like to see the 8 candidates on the list that will form the Labour slate in the European elections in 2009.

Our first ballot paper allows us to choose a first and a second preference for those two MEPs who are seeking re-election.

Arlene McCarthy MEP and Brian Simpson MEP are both seeking re-election, Gary Titley MEP, leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party has announced his retirement.

I am backing Arlene as number 1 and Brian as number 2.

My statement on her election material reads

"As a candidate and now a councillor, Arlene’s support has given me a real boost. Arlene comes out knocking on doors in our campaigns and I know her office is always at the end of the phone if we need assistance. Arlene’s multi-lingual skills even helped us to communicate with African French speaking residents. I was proud during the last campaign to be on the doorsteps in my ward offering local people the chance to talk to their councillor, MP and MEP – all of them women"

From the list of the six candidates who will be on the list but are not currently MEPs, I am voting number 1 for Theresa Griffin who was a Labour candidate in 1999 and 2004, but just too far down the list to be elected to Parliament.

She is a Liverpool member and former city councillor.

I have worked closely with both Arlene and Theresa and I know that both of them will be marvellous representatives in Europe. I have not worked closely with Brian as he covers another part of the region under the MEPs own arrangements, but know he has been very effective too, particularly in the area of transport.

If you have not yet returned your ballot paper, please consider voting 1 for Arlene, 2 for Brian and 1 for Theresa.
If Labour secures 3 MEPs in the European elections in 2009 then these three would be my top choice.

If we secure more then it will be a bonus and I am sure the other candidates, who I dont know personally, will be great too. They went through a rigorous process to get this far - weeks of interviews - some of which I chaired myself.

Get those ballot papers sent back!

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