Carpet Bagging Wakefield Candidate Insists He’s Local

Labour’s Wakefield candidate Simon Lightwood has hit the ground running for the by-election campaign, knocking on doors and introducing himself to local residents. Lots of work to be done…  

He’ll have to knock on quite a few doors though. While Lightwood is busy telling everyone he’s homegrown talent – making sure Guardian readers know “he’s lived and worked in the city for 10 years” – most of the people who greet him at the doorstep will have no idea who he is, at least if his social media posts are accurate. According to his own tweets, Lightwood has lived in the sleepy constituency of Calder Valley since at least 2014 – one of the four constituencies in which he’s unsuccessfully sought the Labour nomination over the last ten years…

In September 2014, Lightwood moaned about receiving “Tory drivel” from the Halifax constituency despite, in his own words, “liv[ing] in Calder Valley”. Even joking that someone should “sit [the Tory candidate] down with a map”…

Years later in October 2020, Lightwood congratulated Susan Hinchcliffe for winning the West Yorkshire mayoral endorsement from “his” CLP of… Calder Valley. Of course, Hinchcliffe ultimately missed out…

Given the fallout from Southside’s candidate selection stitch-up, which saw the entire Wakefield CLP executive resign after their local candidates were pushed out, it’s no wonder he’s now trying to shore up his local credentials. No doubt he had to do the same for Bradford, Loughborough, Scarborough and Whitney…

 

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Correction and Apology to Labour’s Wakefield Candidate Simon Lightwood

Guido would like to extend an apology to Simon Lightwood, Labour’s candidate in the upcoming Wakefield by-election. This morning, Guido published a story claiming his selection over the weekend was his fourth attempt at winning a Labour nomination. Guido concedes this was factually inaccurate. It’s actually his fifth.

In 2013, in between his losing efforts in Bradford and Scarborough & Whitby, Lightwood also had a crack at Calder Valley:

Unfortunately the video in which he explained why people should vote for him has since been deleted, lost to the sands of time. Maybe he deleted it before the Calder Valley CLP even had a chance to watch it. Or maybe they thought he just hadn’t spent enough time in the constituency to justify his selection…

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Fourth Time Lucky for Labour’s Wakefield By-Election Candidate

Following yet another rank-and-file enraging candidate selection stitch-up, Labour have finally parachuted in the man of the hour for the people of Wakefield: former staffer to ex-MP Mary Creagh, Simon Lightwood. With Imran Ahmad Khan resigning from the Red Wall seat earlier this month, Wakefield’s constituency Labour party hoped to fill the spot with a local figure – preferably a darling from the left. Jack Hemingway, the Corbynite deputy leader of Wakefield council, seemed like a great fit. LOTO had other plans.

In the final hustings yesterday afternoon, the entire local executive committee stormed out in protest after Southside waded in to force a shortlist of two candidates, neither of whom lives in the constituency, and neither of whom was the preference of the CLP. Every single member of the executive resigned claiming an “unfair and anti-democratic selection process imposed on Wakefield CLP members”… although some reportedly had second thoughts, with one claiming they’d been “bullied into” a walk-out by more belligerent comrades and apologising as they walked out. Unity is strength et cetera… 

Lightwood eventually won with just 132 members present at the hustings, or 23% of the local membership. Lightwood himself fits the Starmerite mould: a Remainer from the soft left who hopefully won’t cause any grief for Southside. He’s also been trying to get on the ballot for over ten years. First he was interviewed for shortlisting in Loughborough in 2011, with no luck. Then a year later he gave it a go in Bradford, only to fall short again. For round 3 he tried Scarborough and Whitby, and still got turned down. Now he’s finally hit the jackpot, albeit in a seat which voted 66% for Leave, and swung blue with 43.7% of the vote in 2019…

A Labour insider pushed back against the CLP’s botched walk-out last night, claiming the local executive is “obsess[ed] with internal machinations and niche political issues” and the party is now “setting a high bar for our candidates“. A bar Lightwood failed to meet three times before…

UPDATE: It turns out this isn’t Lightwood’s fourth attempt to get elected, after all. It’s his fifth. 

mdi-timer 16 May 2022 @ 11:29 16 May 2022 @ 11:29 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments