MEMBERS of Oxford’s Labour Party have urged national bosses to pick a local candidate to replace Andrew Smith MP.
Mr Smith, who has represented Oxford East for 30 years, announced he would not stand in June 8’s snap election – triggering a formal process to find a replacement candidate.
Due to the short time frame to select candidates, Labour says that person will have to be chosen by the party’s national executive committee.
But it has prompted concerns that a candidate with few local connections could be ‘parachuted’ in, sources said.
A resolution passed by the city council Labour group – seen by the Oxford Mail – calls on the national executive committee to choose a ‘local candidate, who ideally lives in the constituency’.
It comes after Anneliese Dodds, the Labour South East MEP, revealed she would be entering the race to replace Mr Smith. The mum-of-two, who lives in Rose Hill, is seen as a front runner.
Bob Price, leader of Labour-run Oxford City Council, said yesterday:”Anneliese has been an excellent MEP and has campaigned strongly against tax havens.
"She has worked with Labour councillors in local campaigns for many years and is very familiar with the big issues facing local people.”
Labour city councillor Tom Hayes added: “As Oxford East’s next MP, Anneliese would keep up the pressure for a fair Brexit deal.
“She isn’t just the overwhelming choice of the local party, she’s also the right choice.
“I hope the NEC does the right thing by local members.”