Five Labour candidates set for final showdown in fight to replace Frank Dobson

Sir Keir Starmer. Picture: PA/John Stillwell.

Sir Keir Starmer. Picture: PA/John Stillwell. - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Five Labour candidates will go head-to-head in a final contest to decide who will stand as the party’s replacement for outgoing Holborn and St Pancras MP Frank Dobson at next year’s general election.

Cllr Sarah Hayward. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Cllr Sarah Hayward. Picture: Polly Hancock. - Credit: Archant

On Saturday, a ten-member committee of senior Holborn and St Pancras Labour Party members interviewed prospective candidates and then selected a shortlist of five to compete in a final hustings on December 13.

The shortlist comprises former director of public prosecutions Sir Keir Starmer, Camden Council leader Cllr Sarah Hayward, hospital consultant Dr Patrick French, former Camden Council leader Raj Chada and West Hampstead councillor Angela Pober.

Each candidate will have the chance to put their case for candidacy to Holborn and St Pancras Labour members on December 13 who will then vote to select the constituency’s parliamentary candidate.

It will end Labour’s five-month wait for a candidate to replace Mr Dobson following the 74-year-old’s announcement in July that he would retire at next year’s general election after 35 years as Holborn and St Pancras MP.

The constituency’s proximity to Westminster and large Labour majority make it a highly sought-after prize for would-be Labour MPs.

Candidates were able to submit their applications to stand from October before constituency branches and affiliated organisations, such as unions, nominated applicants for the seat.

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A longlist of nominated applicants was then drawn up for interviews with the ten-member selection committee on Saturday, which subsequently picked its shortlist for the December 13 hustings.