HIV doctor and former council leader enter Labour race to replace Frank Dobson
10:42 05 August 2014
Copyright: Ruth Corney
HIV specialist Dr Patrick French and former Camden Council leader Raj Chada have entered the Labour selection race to replace veteran Holborn and St Pancras MP Frank Dobson at the next general election.
Dr French, 52, who lives in Dartmouth Park and is chairman of Highgate Labour Party, announced his candidacy this week following the news Mr Dobson, 74, will stand down as a Labour MP at next year’s general election.
Mr Chada, 41, chairman of Holborn and St Pancras Labour Party and leader of the council between 2005 and 2006, confirmed last week he will stand for Labour selection in Holborn and St Pancras.
Cllr Sarah Hayward, current leader of Camden Council, was the first to enter the selection race following Mr Dobson’s announcement last month that he will stand down as Holborn and St Pancras MP after 35 years.
Former director of public prosecutions Sir Keir Starmer added his name to the contest after Cllr Hayward’s announcement.
West Hampstead councillor Angela Pober has also confirmed her interest in contesting the Labour selection, while Kilburn councillor Thomas Gardiner is also believed to be interested in the seat.
University College Hospital consultant Dr French said: “The main reason I’m standing is because of what’s been going on for the last four or five years.
“The fact that the welfare state has been dismantled, the fact we are going in reverse in terms of equality, what is happening to the education system - the attack on the comprehensive system.
“The NHS is being fractured, it’s being dismantled. All these things need to be defended.
“The people who are representing us are increasingly career politicians. I think we should be selecting people who come into politics who have some experience from outside the political sphere.”
Mr Chada, a criminal defence lawyer who lives in Kentish Town, said: “I am the only candidate that combines a 15-year commitment to working with members in this community, and a national profile as a radical lawyer, doing something outside politics.
“My priorities are to be an active MP, for better housing, for defending public services, for protecting the NHS and for better living standards.”
All prospective candidates must now wait until a timetable for selection is drawn up between Holborn and St Pancras Labour Party and the national party before submitting their candidacy.