After a two hour grilling of the three final candidates, I can confirm that the Labour Party PPC to contest the upcoming by-election for Stoke-on-Trent Central is Newcastle Borough Councillor Gareth Snell.
Each candidate gave a 10 address followed by 20 minutes of questions from CLP members.
The candidates were asked the same questions which were on a wide range of topics such as:
- The coup to overthrow Corbyn
- Party unity
- The NHS
- Party unity – locally and nationally
- The economy including Brexit
All three candidates performed exceptionally well and justified their position in the final three.
There were rumblings amongst some of the CLP members about the lack of a local left wing candidate on the shortlist and rumours are that there is some expected fallout over this issue.
The consensus amongst the members was that Trudie McGuinness and Gareth Snell out performed Allison Gardner but it was all to come down to the crucial vote which started at 10pm. The numbers were not disclosed.
Trudie McGuinness was the first to be eliminated. It went down to the last two with Gareth eventually emerging as the winner on second preference votes.