Ex-MP Is Plymouth Labour’s By-Election Pick

A former city MP has been chosen as the Plymouth Labour candidate in the upcoming by-election called after a long-serving councillor retired.

Alison Raynsford, who was an MP for Devonport and the subsequent Moor View constituency from 2005 until 2015, was selected by local party members to stand in the St Peter and the Waterfront by-election being held on Thursday 27 July.

“It’s exciting that we now have a Labour council with its ambitious goals,“ said Alison. 

“We have to ensure we make a positive difference here in St Peter and the Waterfront and it would be an honour to join the ward team and work with Councillors Chris Penberthy and Ian Tuffin. I have an exemplary role model in the shape of Sue McDonald and it would be a privilege to follow her in this role.”

Long-serving Labour Councillor Sue McDonald Stands Down

Sue McDonald, who was one of the ward’s three Labour councillors for 17 years and retired earlier this month, described Alison as “diligent, hard working and warm hearted”.

“I have known Alison for many years,” said Sue. “I know she will continue my work if she is elected.”

During Alison’s time as an MP she was a Government whip and a shadow Defence and Housing minister as well as chairing a select committee. She has been a board member at Marjon and trustee of Plymouth Horizons Sailing charity in Richmond Walk.

Luke Pollard MP, in whose constituency St Peter and the Waterfront Ward is located, said: “I know Alison to be kind, experienced and a woman with a passion for helping people. She is exactly what our ward needs. I’m excited about the positive changes she will make in our area.”

Alison, who started the campaign to retain the ward on Saturday with a canvass session with Plymouth Labour volunteers, has a long history with the Labour party, having been involved since she was four years old.

“That’s when I first delivered leaflets for my Dad who was standing for council, he later became an MP,” she said.

““The Labour party and its values are extremely important to me and following Sue’s retirement it would be an honour to be elected as her successor. She was a councillor who cared passionately about her constituents and understood their needs. I would love to have the opportunity to follow her.”