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LABOUR'S ERDINGTON CHOICE TONIGHT

26-02-2010

Voters in Erdington will find out later today who’ll be their Labour candidate at the forthcoming election, with union boss Jack Dromey favourite to win – although supporters of Steve Bedser reckon it could be “too close to call”.

Dromey’s major drawback is that he is seen as the choice of the national party, “parachuted in” to a safe seat, but he’s won the support of most local councillors in the constituency, with only Mike Sharpe openly backing Bedser.

Ansar Ali Khan is claiming around 30 of the 120 available votes, but insiders reckon that when the votes are counted at Unison’s office in Livery Street around tea-time he might struggle to get more than half a dozen.

Khan is reckoned to have blotted his copy book with a colourful hustings speech which he began by stating, “I have a conflict of interest to declare. I am not a relative of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown or Harriet Harman” – a cheap jib at Dromey who is, of course, married to Party Chair Harman.

The Washwood Heath councillor was then heckled for pointing out that unlike his main rival, “I am not three years from retirement age.”

Not content with this blatant age discrimination, he referred to “We in Erdington…” as if he had lived there all his life - instead of movingh into the constituency a week earlier.

Bedser has fought a cannier campaign, and his allies are confident that if he is defeated – and they aren’t conceding yet - he will have at least ensured that Dromey’s selection isn’t tainted by the allegation that he was simply foisted upon the constituency; he will have won the seat fairly and squarely.

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