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LABOUR CONFERENCE – Frank admission? Dobson hints he could be set to stand again

Frank Dobson

Published: September 29, 2011

FRANK Dobson was teasing some of his Labour colleagues in Liverpool with fresh talk that he may stand for election again.

The Holborn and St Pancras MP is understood to be irritated at assumptions that he will exit the political stage after a winning run of eight general election victories and more than three decades at the helm.

After his win last year over Lib Dem Jo Shaw and Tory George Lee, he suggested in the immediate aftermath that he was beginning what would probably be his last term – if the parliament ran its full course. That was at the end of a tiring  campaign. At conference this week he struck a different tone about his future.

Supporters who want him to stand again suggested there had been an “unseemly queue” forming.

When asked what he thought of the interest in his seat among colleagues, Mr Dobson suggests “there might not be anything to queue for”, and when reminded that fellow Camden MP Glenda Jackson has already announced she is on her last term, he responds with a teasing: “Well, she’s older than me.”

His interest in conference season and anger over the proposed boundary changes which will rub Holborn and St Pancras off the electoral map are clues that his appetite for the job is still strong.

The runaway gossip mill regularly throws up possible names supposedly ready to represent the area.

Kilburn councillor Mike Katz has been one of the bravest by admitting that he will be interested, particularly in the Hampstead and Kilburn area. Rightly or wrongly, council leader Nasim Ali, his predecessor in the role Raj Chada and senior cabinet councillors Sarah Hayward and Tulip Siddiq are also considered as possible candidates by colleagues.

And after good election results at council and parliamentary polls in Camden, Labour HQ may also take an interest in who gets the Camden seats – and so will unseated MPs keen to return to the green benches. Dawn Butler,  for example, beaten in Brent, and Tony McNulty from Harrow East are occasionally mentioned as possible candidates.


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