Sunday, 14th March 2010
Downing Street has been accused of using dirty tricks to get a glamorous former GMTV journalist into a Labour safe seat.
Gloria De Piero, 37, resigned as political editor of the breakfast show last month to begin her campaign to replace Geoff Hoon as the MP for Ashfield in Nottinghamshire.
Local party officials have accused Downing Street of doing everything possible to get Miss De Piero into the Commons, including omitting the leader of a think tank from the shortlist of potential candidates.
Gordon Brown has given up alcohol but is still biting his nails
Kate becomes forbidden fruit Labour issued the shortlist of three women for the seat, which comes with a majority of 10,000, last week. On it were Miss de Piero, Faye Abbott, a party activist, and Pam Tatlow, who runs Million+, a higher education think tank.
However, Miss Tatlow was replaced by an unknown health visitor named Joyce Still.
Miss Tatlow refused to comment on what had happened, but her supporters claim her name had been switched in a panic because she posed a real threat to Miss De Piero.
The former presenter, who worked at GMTV for seven years, was said to be close to Tony Blair and has and has been a guest of Gordon Brown at Chequers.
One source told the Daily Mail: "What has this Gloria woman ever done? Sat on a breakfast sofa for a few years and got in with the right people?"
Miss Tatlow, who develops funding policies for universities, has been chairman, secretary and vice-chairman of a constituency Labour party.
A leading member of the Ashford Labour Party told the Daily Mail: "The National Executive Committee is trying to hand it to De Piero on a plate.
"But they are making a serious mistake if they think they can take us for granted."
However, a Labour spokesman said it was a genuine error that Miss Tatlow had been dropped from the list.
"A clerical error occurred when the initial shortlist was circulated. This mistake was spotted and rectified immediately. There is a very strong shortlist of prospective candidates in Ashfield, from which local Labour Party members will select their candidate to fight the Tories at the General Election," he said.
Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban