TWO city councillors, a TV presenter and a man vying to be the country’s youngest MP are all hoping to spearhead a Labour fightback in Brighton.
Councillors Daniel Yates and Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Latest TV presenter and trans campaigner Sophie Cook and University of Sussex graduate Solomon Curtis are all hoping to become Labour election candidates.
A host of candidates are expected to fight it out to challenge Simon Kirby as he defends one of the country’s smallest majorities.
The prospective candidates made it clear a victory in Brighton Kemptown was essential for Labour and said they were convinced Jeremy Corbyn could be the next Prime Minister despite lagging in the polls.
Labour’s National Executive Committee will make an announcement on successful candidates after the May Bank Holiday.
Councillor Russell-Moyle won a by-election for the East Brighton council ward in August and stood as parliamentary candidate in Lewes in 2015, doubling Labour’s vote.
He said: “I have said all along Nancy Platts would be the best candidate but now that she has been clear that she doesn’t want to stand, I think we need to go for a candidate that has the experience of standing and who has the local connections.
“It is absolutely essential we win here in Kemptown and make sure that the fightback starts here. Brighton has always been a place that swings and if we win, it could be a beacon for the country as well.”
Cllr Yates also has experience in a General Election having twice pushed Tim Loughton relatively close in East Worthing and Shoreham in 2005 and 2001.
He was elected to Brighton and Hove City Council in 2015 having previously served in Adur.
He said: “Brighton Kemptown is one of the most realistic chances of Labour taking a seat from the Conservatives to send a message to Theresa May that a hard Brexit is not an option for the people of Brighton and Hove, this is not what they asked for.
“Of course it is feasible for Jeremy Corbyn to be the next Prime Minister.
“He is one of only two people who can be and people are now seeing that Theresa May cannot be trusted to keep her word.”
Solomon Curtis, 20, is hoping to challenge Caroline Lucas in Brighton Pavilion. He said the city needed someone to represent its younger and BME populations.
He said: “I do think we can win Pavilion, if Jeremy’s campaign is going to work anywhere it should work here. We have seen that a week is a long time in politics and a lot can happen in six weeks. It won’t be an easy task, it doesn’t mean its probable but it does mean its possible [that Jeremy Corbyn will win].”