LETTER: Party should have opted for younger candidate

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I write to you as a life-long Labour supporter to express my disappointment and disgust at the recent campaign and subsequent loss in Mansfield.

For Labour to make gains in Kensington, Reading and Canterbury - among other Conservative seats - but lose a seat held since the 1920s, is frankly disgraceful.

Sir Alan Meale has served this town for nearly 30 years and has achieved many great things for Mansfield, especially during the New Labour years of power. However, this election he was notably absent. In fact, there was an absence of Labour altogether in the town.

I understand that Alan Meale may have felt unease with the electorate following the 70.9 per cent vote to leave the European Union, whilst he campaigned to remain. MPs up and down the country had to come to terms with this and by hiding away and allowing the comfort of a safe seat to turn to complacency, a town ravaged by Tory cuts has become one of their biggest victories on election night.

As Jeremy Corbyn pointed out to Andrew Marr on Sunday morning, we are facing the possibility of a second General Election in 2017. I would like to suggest that the Labour Party seeks an alternative candidate for election in Mansfield. The Conservative Party candidate is only 27 and was willing to fight tooth and nail for the seat, whilst Alan Meale and his team appeared, in my view, to expect votes to roll in regardless. It’s time for a new, younger and more in touch candidate to stand in the town. The Labour movement is changing and at the forefront of that should be young candidates which can effect change which is so desperately needed at this time.
I am happy to offer my services as a volunteer in future campaigns and look forward to hearing from you.


Mansfield Woodhouse (name and address supplied)