East Anglia: Labour looks ahead to Euro-poll

Heading list - Richard Howitt

Heading list - Richard Howitt - Credit: Archant

THIS year’s county council elections are still three weeks away, but already the Labour Party is preparing for the 2014 Euro-elections.

It has published a list of candidates for the seven seats in the East of England as part of the national launch of its European campaign.

And one of the Labour candidates is Labour group leader at the county council Sandy Martin.

Sitting MEP Richard Howitt is top of the party list for next year’s Euro-elections. He is currently the only Labour MEP in the region.

There are six other candidates – three men and three women – and their position on the ballot paper will be decided by a vote among party members.

There are separate votes for the men and women – and they will go in alternative places on the ballot paper.

MEPs are elected on a proportional representation system – at the last election in 2009 voters in the East of England elected three Conservatives, two UKIP members, one Labour and one LibDem. One of the UKIP MEPs, David Campbell-Bannerman, subsequently defected to the Tories.

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Among the potential Labour MEPs is Bhavna Joshi, who stood for the party in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich in the 2010 general election.

Mr Martin said he had become involved with the party because of its strong position on environmental issues.

He said: “These issues are larger than even national politics – I have always been committed to the need for European action on the environment so this is a natural progression.”

He did not feel seeking election to the European parliament would have an impact on his county council campaign.

Mr Martin said: “In the county council elections people are voting on local services and the Labour Party has a firm view on the way they should be provided.

“Whether or not I stand for the European Parliament will have no impact on that.”

Labour candidates for the East of England:

Richard Howitt MEP (heads regional list).

Naseem Ayub

Bhavna Joshi

Alex Mayer

Paul Bishop

Sandy Martin

Chris Ostrowski

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