Liverpool social worker in Labour race for Wavertree
A LIVERPOOL social worker emerged as one of the front runners in the race to become the next Labour parliamentary hopeful for Wavertree.
Wendy Simon, 48, is set to throw her hat into the ring once the party’s National Executive Committee announces later this month whether it will use an all women’s shortlist or an open list.
The candidacy fell vacant after Wavertree MP Jane Kennedy announced last month that she would stand down at the next General Election after 17 years as one of the city’s five MPs.
The former minister admitted to feeling “drained” and “tired” and said the time was right for her to something new, although she does not have another job lined up.
The “unrelenting” pressures of 10 years as a Government minister had taken its toll on her family life.
And changes to be introduced to Parliament after the expenses scandal – which include not being able to employ her partner Peter Dowling – were a factor, she said.
Labour councillor Anna Rothery is the only candidate to declare so far her intention to run for the seat.
While rising Labour star Luciana Berger, director of Labour Friends of Israel, has already been identified as a leading unofficial candidate from outside the city.
Cllr Simon was first elected to the city council in May 2007 and is currently the party’s spokesman on health and social care.
The mum-of-one represents Kensington and Fairfield, part of the Wavertree constituency, on the city council.
She is also the chairman of the Wavertree constituency Labour party.
It is understood that her campaign will be backed by union Unison.
Although relatively unknown outside of politics, Labour party sources said she was respected for quietly getting things done behind the scenes.
One said: “Wendy would be an excellent MP.
“As she is local the issues of Wavertree affect her.
“She would do a great job taking over the mantle of Jane Kennedy.”
The NEC’s special selection panel will not meet again until December 17 at which it is likely to decide on Wavertree.