The Labour MP Diana Johnsonhas been reselected as the party’s parliamentary candidate for Kingston upon Hull North, after she was the first to face a reselection battle before the next election.
Johnson, who was named backbencher of the year in 2018, had faced the challenge after local members used the trigger-ballot process to find a new candidate.
“I’m absolutely delighted that the members of Hull North put their confidence in me as they did in 2005, 2010, 2015 and 2017,” she told HullLive. “I always knew that members would back me”.
Johnson added: “It’s been a very stressful campaign as it has been in the middle of the national crisis of Brexit so it has been a very difficult couple of weeks trying to balance being a member of parliament in Westminster and running the campaign at the moment. It’s just been – well tonight makes it all worthwhile.”
Johnson is not a regular critic of the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, but a Momentum-backed local councillor Aneesa Akbar unsuccessfully attempted to replace her as the party’s candidate for the seat after a third of local party branches voted in favour of a full selection process.
LabourList reported that it understood Johnson had secured 292 votes out of almost 400 cast, including more than 200 postal votes, while Akbar received 101 votes.
Johnson had been backed in her re-selection bid by the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, Labour’s campaign chief, Andrew Gwynne, and other shadow cabinet members.
It comes after her fellow Labour MP Ian Murray was reselected as the candidate for Edinburgh South despite strident criticism from Unite, which accused him of consistently undermining the leadership.
Other MPs who have been triggered and whose reselection votes have not yet taken place are Margaret Hodge, Roger Godsiff, Emma Lewell-Buck, Kate Osamor and Virendra Sharma.