Emily Benn, granddaughter of Tony Benn, the late darling of the Labour left, has been selected to stand as the party’s candidate for Croydon South in the general election next year.
Benn, 24 of Norbury, is “delighted and honoured” to be Labour’s candidate, and, if elected, would become the fifth generation of her family to enter politics – and at the same age as her grandfather was when he first entered parliament.
Delighted and honoured to have been Selected as Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Croydon South pic.twitter.com/g9WJdtR4ve
— Emily Benn (@Emily_Benn) July 19, 2014
Benn’s tweet about her selection on July 19, 2014
She was Labour’s youngest ever candidate, when in 2007, aged just 17, she was nominated to contest East Worthing and Shoreham in the 2010 general election, eventually losing out to the Conservative candidate, MP Tim Loughton.
Croydon South is widely considered a Conservative safe seat, with current MP Richard Ottaway elected in 2010 with a majority of 15,818.
Benn, nevertheless, has welcomed the challenge.
“It’s obviously a challenge for Labour, but I firmly believe that there should be no ‘no go’ areas for the Labour Party,” she said.
The current Labour Councillor for West Thornton was seen by some as a “shoo in” for the Labour candidacy but Benn described as “insulting” any suggestion that her family name helped in her selection or that it would result in extra pressure on her.
“The pressure and responsibility comes from the people who voted for me as their candidate and from Labour supporters,” she said.
It was rumoured that the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, might see the Croydon South seat as his way back into Parliament, however, the Conservative Party has selected entrepreneur, Chris Philips, 37, to contest the seat next year.
Tony Benn, was an MP for 47 years and served as a Cabinet minister under Prime Ministers Harold Wilson and James Callaghan. He died in March, aged 88.