Former Sussex student among Labour’s main candidates for European elections

Posted On 05 Aug 2013 at 10:19 pm

A former Sussex University student is among the top three candidates on Labour’s list for the South East England constituency in the European elections next year.

Emily Westley, a Hastings councillor, hopes to represent the constituency, which includes Brighton and Hove, in the European Parliament.

It is served by ten MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) although only one of those is currently a Labour member, Peter Skinner.

Mr Skinner, 54, has served the constituency since it was established in 1999. He previously represented Kent West. When he retires, he will have been an MEP for 20 years.

The top two candidates on Labour’s list are Aston University lecturer Anneliese Dodds, from Oxford, and John Howarth, from Reading, who runs a design and communications business. He has served as a councillor in Reading and writes a local newspaper column.

Emily Westley

Emily Westley

Some Labour supporters believe that they are likely to hold one seat and that Mr Howarth could win a second seat for the party.

Few expect Mrs Westley to be elected next year. If she is, she will have completed a remarkable journey.

She was born in Scotland and grew up in Hollington in Hastings – an area regarded by some as similar to Mouslecoomb or Whitehawk in Brighton. She still lives in Hollington with her husband and two children.

She worked as a clerk and secretary for solicitors before becoming the personal assistant to Michael Foster, who was the Labour MP for Hastings and Rye at the time.

She studied law and politics at Sussex University as a mature student and two years ago she was elected to Hastings Borough Council.

In April she defamed a former Conservative councillor on Twitter for which she has apologised. She has since been ordered to undertake training in the use of social media by the council’s Standards Committee.

The former councillor, Richard Vallery-Peters, said that he would sue for defamation.

Labour’s ten candidates in order of preference are

  1. Anneliese Dodds
  2. John Howarth
  3. Emily Westley
  4. Del Singh
  5. Farah Nazeer
  6. James Swindlehurst
  7. Maggie Hughes
  8. James Watkins
  9. Karen Landles
  10. Michael Hassell


  1. Clyde Cash Reply

    Proudly standing next to an EU flag;

    Some pictures speak louder than words….

  2. Stan Butler Reply

    I agree with Clyde:

    Standing next to the wretched European Union flag would disincline me from voting for her, whatever her policies…

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