Labour Parliamentary Candidates Shortlisted


Below you will find statements supporting the individual candidacy of the shortlisted candidates for the Parliamentary Selection for Hastings & Rye Constituency Labour Party.

Candidate names appear in alphabetical order. All statements have been written by the shortlisted candidates themselves. Candidates are permitted to campaign to be selected with immediate effect, and members can expect to receive communications over the coming days, and prior to the hustings which will be held at the White Rock Theatre, Hastings on Saturday, January 27th from 2.00 pm.

Members will shortly be receiving an email with further details about the process of selection and the arrangements for the hustings, where eligible members may vote for our next Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC).


Update: 16 January 2018

The Parliamentary Selection Committee decided to remove  Michelle Harris from the shortlist. This was a retrospective decision when new information came to the attention of the committee.

We are now able to continue with the process which will lead to the selection of our Prospective Parliamentary Candidate on January 27 at the White Rock Theatre.   Eligible members will be able to cast their vote under the alternative preferential voting system. Further details will be posted here shortly and circulated to members by email.

Peter Chowney

I’ve lived in Hastings since 1996. I am a socialist and have always been on the left of the party, supporting Jeremy Corbyn in both leadership elections. I’ve been a Labour councillor in Hastings since 1999, and have been leader of the council since May 2015. Since Labour took control of the council in 1998, I believe we have transformed Hastings and established a reputation for what a Labour administration can achieve in a predominantly Tory region, adopting many popular policies such as our CPO programme of empty properties, and the ‘Grotbuster’ initiative to improve dilapidated buildings.

Hastings & Rye is an area of extreme contrasts, of wealth and deprivation. This is true not just of Hastings, but of areas such as Camber, and the rural villages. In Hastings, areas of quite extreme deprivation exist, amongst the worst in the country, with intergenerational unemployment, poverty and short life expectancies – unacceptable anywhere, but especially shocking here in the ‘affluent’ south east. This needs exposing, and the resources put into the constituency to address these shocking inequalities.

As leader, and previously deputy leader and regeneration portfolio holder, I am well-known locally, and associated with the council’s achievements. I am also familiar with the problems and issues in Rye and the villages, partly from involvement in the 2017 general election campaign, and partly from a general interest in the wider area where I live. Based on this, I would welcome the opportunity to win back the Hastings & Rye constituency for Labour.

Kim Forward

I am a proud, dedicated long-time Labour Party and union member who has lived in the constituency for over thirty years. A mother of five children, I am currently deputy leader of the council. I was mayor for two years and currently hold the portfolio for regeneration and culture.

I previously had responsibility for housing. And I understand Hastings and its housing needs.

As a teacher in local schools for over 20 years I have excellent front-line knowledge that relates to education policy. All my children were educated in local schools.

I am well-respected locally as part of a successful labour-controlled council which not only says it will do the right think for the community, but delivers its manifesto pledges. When I say I will do something I do it.

I believe all sectors of our community should be heard and I am committed to equality and narrowing the gap in the constituency.

I have been a cleaner, factory worker, shop assistant, waitress, language teacher, play group leader and currently work as an independent living support assistant. In the past I have chaired the governing body of a local school and been a director of a community centre. I am currently a trustee of the charity, Education Futures Trust.

I would make a credible candidate for Hastings and Rye and would fight hard, as I always do, to win the seat, because we desperately need a Labour MP here, and a Labour Government that can fight austerity and bring hope back into the political narrative.


Arran Neathey

I joined the Labour Party when the Tory-led government scrapped the Future Jobs Fund programme which saved me from long-term unemployment. I was determined to fight to bring back policies that ensure no one is left on the economic scrap heap and that power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many.

At the 2015 general election I stood for the Runnymede and Weybridge parliamentary constituency against the Chancellor Philip Hammond where I beat the national swing and increased the vote for the first time in 18 years. Because of this experience, I understand the pressures that come with standing against a high-profile member of the government. Amber Rudd does not intimidate me.

I have also stood in local elections several times. Despite being up against a super-majority Tory Council in Surrey, I have nevertheless through campaigning managed to extract concessions from them on school bus services, library staffing and seed-funding for a Credit Union. I was instrumental in torpedoing the Surrey Council tax referendum and then exposing the Surrey sweetheart deal which Jeremy Corbyn used to tackle the Tories and PMQs

Hastings and Rye desperately needs a Labour government and to get there we need a strong candidate to kick out Amber Rudd and help put Jeremy Corbyn in Number 10. I believe that my experience and passion make me the right person to be that candidate. Please select me to be your next MP.

Nik Slingsby

I’m a candidate with a proven track record of representing Labour and championing the causes we hold dear.
I grew up in the South and studied Chinese at the University of London before becoming a lawyer. I help Legal Action for Women giving legal advice to domestic abuse and custody victims across the UK. I’ve also helped with the refugee crisis, building camps and sanitation in Calais.

Labour Experience

I was the Labour candidate for Cities of London & Westminster in 2015 and achieved a 5.2% increase in vote, the largest swing of all the candidates, slashing the Tory majority and demolishing the Lib Dem/Ukip challenge. I was the Chairman of the CLP managing the campaigning across the branch. Sometimes we suffer defeats, but we never lose until we stop fighting, and I promise never to stop fighting.

Fighting for Hastings & Rye

Years of Tory austerity and putting Party before our Country over Europe, has caused Hastings & Rye and the UK to feel the pain. I’ve got the campaigning experience to champion the:
Investment for the fantastic schools and hospitals in Hastings & Rye.
Halting the closure of public facilities such as the Harold Place toilets and Ore Library due to austerity.
Investment to create jobs and tackle local unemployment in Hastings.
Nationalisation of rail services to provide cheaper and more frequent access to London and the South.
Abolishing tuition fees to create a well-educated workforce.
Building substantial public housing to give everyone the right to affordable housing.