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(From Guardian Unlimited)
Mark Seddon is a man I respect and admire, but his assertion that the selection of Tristram Hunt as Labour's candidate for Stoke Central has gifted the seat to the BNP is unhelpful, distracting and, in my view, just plain wrong. Like Mark, I too put my name forward to be Labour's candidate for Stoke and, like him, I was unsuccessful. I was born only a few miles away from the city, have written various pieces about the politics of the city in the past few years and was the PPC for a nearby marginal seat (Shrewsbury) in 2005. I was hopeful of making the shortlist and disappointed when informed that I would be taken through to the final stages.