Labour candidates chosen centrally

By Carole Dennett Apr 13, 2024
Richard Quigley and Emily Brothers

Island Labour has had candidates for the forthcoming general election chosen by the national party.

Both Isle of Wight West and East seats were presented with ‘one person lists’ so, subject to final confirmation by the National Executive Committee, the two named candidates will be fighting Labour’s corner in the general election expected to be held this autumn but which must take place by January 2025.

As widely anticipated, Richard Quigley has been selected to stand against MP, Bob Seely in Isle of Wight West. He is the IW Councillor for Cowes North and with his wife, Leah, has owned popular fish and chip restaurant, Corrie’s Cabin on Shooters Hill for 22 years.

Alongside his business interests Cllr Quigley enjoys performing stand-up comedy, so at least West Wight voters should have some laughs amid the serious business of choosing who should be their next MP. As Labour candidate in the 2019 general election, he increased Labour’ share of the vote to come second. In a sign that the national party thinks Mr Quigley might have a chance of unseating beleaguered Mr Seely, West Wight has not been linked to a mainland seat, meaning that local activists are not expected to go and campaign in another seat considered more winnable and can concentrate on supporting Cllr Quigley’s campaign.

The candidate selected for the Isle of Wight East constituency is Emily Brothers who was elected to Sandown Town Council in 2021 after drawing straws when the ballot was tied. She also stood for the IW Council seat of Ryde South East coming second to Tory, Warren Drew.

She is a blind transgender lesbian who, according to Wikipedia, had sex reassignment surgery in Thailand in 2008. She campaigns on LGBT+ and disability issues. She stood for parliament in 2019 for Sutton and Cheam in London and has tried unsuccessfully to be selected for other seats including Liverpool West Derby and most recently, Chester for the by-election which took place in December 2022. She is divorced with two children. Isle of Wight East has been twinned with the Southampton Itchen seat, and local activists will be encouraged to work there to help win the seat for Labour, where the current Tory MP, Royston Smith, has said he is standing down.