Political adviser David Prescott is vying to be selected as the Labour parliamentary candidate for Mansfield, the previously safe seat that was narrowly lost to the Tories at the general election in June.
Prescott is the son of former deputy leader John (now Lord) Prescott but he has carved out his own successful career in politics as an aide. He is currently working in the Leader of the Opposition’s office as policy communications manager and before that he was one of Jeremy Corbyn’s speechwriters.
He was shortlisted for Hull West in the run up to the surprise General Election in June as the Labour Party scrambled to place candidates in winnable seats, but lost out to Emma Hardy, who was subsequently elected with a majority of over 8000. Prescott Sr represented Hull East for 40 years. Sam Tarry, another Corbyn aide, was also on the Hull West shortlist.
Sir Alan Meale, the long-serving Labour MP in Mansfield, was defeated by Ben Bradley in June despite increasing the Labour vote by 5 per cent. Over 70% of voters in the North Nottinghamshire seat, a former mining area, voted to leave the EU in the 2015 referendum.
Mansfield is not one of the target seats to have been set aside for female Labour candidates through the introduction of all women shortlists. Prescott is not the only Corbyn aide to throw his hat into the ring. It was reported on Thursday that Matt Zarb-Cousin, a former media spokesman for the Labour leader, is also planning to stand for Parliament.
The Labour Party wants to select candidates quickly in the expectation that there could be another General Election soon. Theresa May’s authority was destroyed when she lost her majority in June and her government has since been rocked by Cabinet rows over Brexit.
Interestingly, Prescott tweeted about Mansfield’s new Tory MP shortly after he won the seat in June. He may have had his eye on the seat for some time.