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29 October 2014
Next MP for Neath?

Next MP for Neath?

From the Guido Fawkes website

Not content with retiring to his Spanish villa, picking up a peerage and sniffing around the Leader of the Lords job, Peter Hain is trying to stitch up his seat for his chosen successor. Next week he plans to wangle the selection in Neath for Mabel McKeown, daughter of £75 million comedian Tracy Ullman. As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun, Hain’s former agent Howard Davies is running McKeown’s campaign to parachute in his favourite candidate. Opponents claim she has no knowledge of Neath and no local experience since she was born in LA. Carpet-bagging former Harriet Harman aide Mabel has already lost out before for a local council seat and when she stood for the London Assembly. Christina Rees is the Unite union backed rival on the all women shortlist whom Ullman’s daughter is telling to “Move over Darling”…

The Guido Fawkes website can be accessed from our menu - see JUST BLOGS

Read what WALES ON LINE has to say:


The daughter of a famous US-based comedian is running to be selected as the Labour candidate to fight the 2015 general election in the party stronghold of Neath.

Mabel McKeown, who lives in London, is one of three women in the selection battle to be Labour parliamentary candidate in the constituency.

But Neath MP and veteran campaigner Peter Hain, who is standing down, has denied claims on a political blog that he has “stitched up” the seat for Ms McKeown.

She is running against Karen Wilkie, deputy general secretary of the Co-Operative Party and last year’s chair of Welsh Labour, and Christina Rees, a Bridgend councillor and ex-wife of former Welsh Secretary Ron Davies who ran in the Labour list European election list.

Party members in the constituency, which is running an all-women shortlist, will make their decision at a meeting on Saturday at Neath Town Hall.

Tracey Ullman was born in Berkshire, England but is known for a number of major US comedy shows stretching back into the 1980s. In 2006 she was estimated to have a personal fortune of £75 million.

Mabel McKeown, who is herself a worker for the UKYouth charity, has been a member of the Labour party since she was 17.

She previously ran as a candidate to the London Assembly, and has worked for the party in government and opposition, according to her campaign website.

On the site Ms McKeown says she “will immediately move to Neath where I will make my home”.

“My mother was able to go to drama school because of a bursary, and my father’s family had a new council house because of a Labour government,” she adds.

WalesOnline reported back in the summer that Peter Hain announced he would stand down as a Labour MP following a series of discussions with leader Ed Miliband. He indicated at the time that he might take a new role away from Westminister.

Mr Hain said claims, published on the Guido Fawkes politics website, that he had “stitched up” the seat for Ms McKeown was “absolute nonsense.”

“I’ve not supported any candidate,” he said in a statement.

“My only involvement has been to meet each candidate who approached me about the selection and talk to them about the role, and I was happy to do so. Both myself, and my office have remained neutral throughout the selection process.”

A Welsh Labour spokesman said: “Labour’s selection process is open and fair and we encourage people from a diverse range of backgrounds from right across the Labour movement to stand. Next week local members in Neath will select the Labour parliamentary candidate on a one member one vote basis.”

Wayne Davies

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