St Albans Councillor selected to stand as northern MP 40 days after election

St Albans Cllr Seema Kennedy

St Albans Cllr Seema Kennedy - Credit: Photo supplied

There are demands for the resignation of a local councillor who has controversially been chosen to stand for Parliament just 40 days after being elected to the district council.

And the selection of Cllr Seema Kennedy to stand as Tory candidate for South Ribble in Lancashire, 200 miles from her St Albans home, comes just a year after she attended an open primary meeting in a bid to become Hampstead and Kilburn’s parliamentary constituency candidate.

Back then, the parliamentary hopeful pledged to the 200-strong audience that if chosen for the 2015 general election race, she would start house hunting in the area the next day.

But she failed to win over the party faithful during the ballot.

Later in 2013, Cllr Kennedy was also named as a candidate on the long-list for Mid Worcestershire, also to no avail.

Following that knock-back she was elected to represent the Marshalswick south ward on May 22 this year.

Then on Saturday there was a surprise announcement, by media in Lancashire, of Cllr Kennedy’s selection to contest a parliamentary seat.

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That brought a swift response from the chairwoman of the St Albans Constituency Labour Party, Helen Ives Rose, who said: “Councillors’ first priority must be to the constituents they represent.

“There are many hard working councillors in St Albans but when you have been selected to fight a parliamentary seat many miles away there is a clear conflict of interest.

“The Labour party therefore calls upon Ms Kennedy to resign.”

Ms Ives Rose added that a by-election should be called so Marshalswick South residents could have the “benefit of a full-time councillor at the earliest opportunity”.

She pointed out that Cllr Kennedy’s selection comes months after fellow Tory and ward councillor Heidi Allen, also chasing her political ambitions, narrowly missed being chosen as a candidate for South East Cambridgeshire just 18 months after being elected to the council.

Next year’s general election will not be the first time Cllr Kennedy has run for Parliament.

In 2010 she came second to a Labour candidate while vying to represent Ashton-under-Lyne.

This was a year after she was embroiled in a Conservative party brawl with local MP Anne Main in 2009, when she was part of an unsuccessful effort to have the politician deselected.

She had not responded to the Herts Ad at the time of going to press.