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Labour man, 24, to fight for MP Baron’s seat
4:30pm Wednesday 18th December 2013 in News
Mr Callaghan, 24, who became a Pitsea North West councillor last year, has been selected as the man the party hopes will unseat Mr Baron, whohas been a localMP for 12 years.
Since entering the council chamber in May 2012, Mr Callaghan has been involved in several bitter disputes with Tory councillors, notably mayor Mo Larkin, often over comments posted on the social networking website, Twitter.
After being chosen to fight for Labour at the general election, Mr Callaghan promised he would stand up for local residents and hold Mr Baron to account in the months leading up to the election, likely to be inMay 2015.
Mr Callaghan, who has lived in Basildon since 2004, said: “Over the next 500 days, I will be speaking up for the vulnerable and squeezed middle families who have been abandoned by this Government through its failed economic plan which has resulted in a cost-of-living crisis.
“I will also be ensuring John Baron is held to account for the pain that his Government’s policies have caused thousands of people in this constituency over the past three-and-ahalf years.
“I will continue to be a highly-visible local Labour politician and ensure in May 2015, Labour has a strong vote across this constituency.”
As well as fiercely criticising the Tories who run the council, Mr Callaghan has been a high-profile campaigner on issues, including improving fire safety on the Felmores estate, in Pitsea, and pushing for a notorious bail hostel, which houses sex offenders, to be moved away from homes and school.
Fellow Labour councillor John Scarola praised his selection, saying: “As a local councillor, Gavin has shown he can effectively take on the Tories on a wide range of local, regional, and national issues. He will work tirelessly to increase the Labour vote and provide an effective voice for Laindon residents.”
Mr Baron’s Basildon and Billericay seat is generally regarded as a safe one. Boundary changes mean he now represents a rather different part of the borough than he did when he was first elected to replace Teresa Gorman in 2001, but on each occasions he has stood, he has managed to increase his share of the poll. His present majority is 12,398.
Mr Callaghan’s selection follows Labour’s choice a few months ago of Brentwood Labour party leader Mike Le-Surf, challenge Tory Stephen Metcalfe in the area’s other seat, South Basildon and East Thurrock.
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