Sheffield councillor Sophie Wilson (23) Labour choice for Rother Valley

By Gareth Dennison | 01/11/2019

Sheffield councillor Sophie Wilson (23) Labour choice for Rother Valley
Sophie Wilson

SHEFFIELD councillor Sophie Wilson won the Labour vote to fight for retiring Kevin Barron’s Rother Valley seat.

Members picked the 23-year-old, who represents Beighton, after a hustings event in Treeton last Friday evening.

Cllr Wilson said: “Sir Kevin has been a faithful servant of local people and I am proud local members have chosen me to follow in his footsteps. 

“The Tories have starved northern communities of investment, widening the divide with the south. 

“The divide is even wider in former coalfield communities such as those here in Rother Valley.

“We have to bridge those divides and make sure people here get the same investment and the same chances as those in London and the south east.”

Cllr Wilson won the selection race with 89 votes, compared to the 50 gained by Witney mayor Duncan Enright, according to LabourList.

She attended Aston Comprehensive and now works for South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue — but her support for Spearmint Rhino has been said to clash with Rotherham Council’s opposition to sexual entertainment venues.

There had also been criticism of the party not shortlisting candidates who live in the constituency, despite several local members putting themselves forward.

Sir Kevin said it was “surprising” and went against Jeremy Corbyn saying power would lie with local members.

And he declined to comment on Cllr Wilson’s selection — despite congratulating several Labour candidates on Twitter who have been selected for other seats.

Cllr Allen Cowles (Brexit) and Colin Taylor (Lib Dem) will also contest the Rother Valley seat, held by Sir Kevin since 1983.

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