Labour candidate scraps selection bid after losing race for citizenship
PUBLISHED: 15:04 03 November 2014 | UPDATED: 15:04 03 November 2014
One of the candidates bidding to replace outgoing Holborn and St Pancras MP Frank Dobson has been forced to drop out of the Labour selection race due to a delay in her bid to become a British citizen.
Italian-born Ivana Bartoletti has given up on her hope of standing to replace Mr Dobson having been told by the Home Office on Saturday that her application for British citizenship is still being processed.
The deadline for applications to stand in the safe Labour seat, which is also being contested by former chief prosecutor Sir Keir Starmer and Camden Council leader Cllr Sarah Hayward, is Monday.
Under Electoral Commission rules, parliamentary candidates must be British citizens or eligible Commonwealth citizens to stand and Ms Bartoletti currently meets neither requirement.
Last month, the Ham&High reported on Ms Bartoletti’s race against the clock to secure citizenship, at which point she said she had “faith” in the Home Office processing her application in time.
In a letter sent to supporters today, she wrote: “Sadly, it appears that I will not be able to enter the selection as my naturalisation process has been caught up in the delays at the Home Office.
“In August I was reassured that there was no problem and that my application would be processed by the usual six months deadline, which encouraged me to crack on and declare an interest in the seat.
“However, the deadline has passed and on Saturday I received a letter from the Home Office informing me that it is still dealing with my application.
“I look forward to the time when I will be able to bring my story, and my commitment to Britain and to Labour to the British Parliament.
“For Labour to thrive, we need new ideas and passion - and we also need our Labour politicians to look like the communities we wish to represent.”
Holborn and St Pancras Labour Party will select its candidate for next year’s general election on December 13.