Sheffield Central: four person shortlist for Labour candidate announced - including Eddie Izzard

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The shortlist for the Labour candidacy in Sheffield Central at the next general election has been revealed. The list was whittled down from six to four on Monday.

Comedian Eddie Izzard is one of the four people selected for the next stage which will be a hustings meeting set to take place on December 4. The full shortlist is made up of Sheffield City councillors Jayne Dunn and Abtisam Mohamed, comedian Eddie Izzard, and dentist and public health consultant Rizwana Lala.

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The search for a Labour candidate for the seat was triggered earlier this year when incumbent Paul Blomfield announced he would step down from his seat at the next election. Mr Blomfield has been MP for Sheffield Central since 2010.

Mike Buckley, who is Sheffield Central Constituency Labour Party (CLP) campaign coordinator, and former BBC Newsnight and Channel 4 News journalist Paul Mason missed out on a place on the shortlist.

Mr Mason posted on Twitter to reflect on the news that he had not been selected for the shortlist. He said: “I’m out of the running for Sheffield Central. I’ve had nothing but a warm welcome from voters in the city, but it’s clear the majority of party activists want a local candidate.

“For the record, given controversies with left candidates elsewhere, the process has been open and democratic and I’d like to thank the CLP, Yorkshire Region and NEC for that. Thanks also to my supporters in the Wards.

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“I’ll go on trying to shape a new left agenda inside the Labour Party:  radical on climate, redistribution, democracy and workers’ rights; tough on crime; strong on defence and national security.”

Labour leaflets were mistakenly posted through letterboxes in Chesterfield on April 10. Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images.Labour leaflets were mistakenly posted through letterboxes in Chesterfield on April 10. Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images.
Labour leaflets were mistakenly posted through letterboxes in Chesterfield on April 10. Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images.

Sheffield Central has been a Labour stronghold for over 40 years. The seat was created in 1885 but was abolished in 1950. In 1983 it was reinstated and won by Labour’s Richard Caborn. The last non-Labour MP to win the seat was Conservative William Boulton in 1931.