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A new baby of the House?

Michael Crick | 16:59 UK time, Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Labour on Tuesday issued the writ for the Norwich North by-election, which will take place on 23 July.

When was the last time a Parliamentary contest involved two leading candidates who are so young - a combined age of 55?

The Conservative contender in Norwich North, Chloe Smith, is only 27, while her Labour opponent, Chris Ostrowski, is just 28.

If either of them is elected in the by-election they will replace the Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson as the "baby" of the Commons. Ms Swinson is now 29.

You can watch my first first report from Norwich North on Newsnight on Tuesday 30 June 2009 at 10.30pm.


  • Comment number 1.

    I saw the "interview" with the Labour candidate last night. He would make a truly excellent baby of the House, judging by the way he babbled almost incoherently.

    I mean no disrespect to someone like Jo Swinson, but I really do have to ask what real knowledge and experience can someone in their 20s bring to Parliament?

    At least the Labour selectors in Erith and Thamesmead had the good sense not to appoint a 22 year old as their candidate; whatever Georgia Gould's qualities might have been, what beliefs and experience could she have developed independent from those of her illustrious father? If Parliament really wants to regain the respect of the electorate then it really must insist that candidates have "lived" enough to know what they are talking about, not just know what somebody else has told them.

  • Comment number 2.

    Amazed by your report failing to mention the candidacy of Craig Murray. No real defense for such shoddy reporting, either wilful ignorance or stupidity.

  • Comment number 3.

    Yes, it is curious why Craig Murray was omitted from Michael Crick's report. Mr Murray writes that he already has eight local volunteers working on his campaign.

  • Comment number 4.

    Very surprised that Craig Murray's candidacy was not mentioned.
    Whyeever not?
    His is surely a valid and serious effort?

  • Comment number 5.

    It strikes me that the real purpose of inviting comments on these blogs is to stroke the ego of the blogger.

    They certainly don't seem to pay much attention, much less have the courage to debate the comments on their blog.

    The willful omission of Craig Murray is a case in point. It is now the BBC which decides who is, or is not, a "significant" candidate. That is hardly good for democracy, particularly when a very significant candidate is considered insignificant. No doubt, in another context, we will have the Corporation screaming about the indispensability of a free press to the democratic process.

    This is pretty blatant hypocracy. But then the Corporation was effectively neutered when it capitulated to NuLabour and lost Dykes and Gilligan. Sad.

  • Comment number 6.

    Further back than that, Irlpol. In 1987 Alasdair Milne (the then Director-General) was told to "leave immediately" by the recently appointed Chairman of the Board of BBC Governors - a man who had close connections with the Conservative Party. Under Milne's direction the BBC had bravely transmitted a number of controversial programmes which did not find favour with the establishment.


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