Party spokesman seeks Labour seat

August 2, 1996

Labour party further and higher education spokesman Bryan Davies is still without a seat in which to fight the next election after being defeated in the selection battle for Wythenshawe and Sale.

Mr Davies, who has been the party's FE and HE spokesman since 1993, was beaten into second place by Salford councillor Paul Goggings in last week's candidate selection ballot. The ballot was necessary after the sitting Wythenshawe MP Alf Morris announced he was retiring.

Despite the setback, Mr Davies, whose own Oldham Central and Royton constituency disappeared in a Boundary Commission review, is still hopeful of finding a seat - preferably in the Manchester area - in time for the election.

He said: "I have to say that as the only elected MP at the last general election without a seat because of boundary changes I entertain high hopes that the party will offer me an opportunity in the near future."

Mr Davies, who was reconfirmed as shadow minister in the Labour reshuffle this week, said that he was aware that Joan Lestor, MP for Eccles, had announced her resignation a fortnight ago and that he would be looking into the possibilities of this seat.

* The Labour leadership will face renewed calls to abolish student loans and restore full grants at its conference this autumn.

Nearly a dozen resolutions seek to reverse policy which supports loans repayable through some form of graduate tax. Glasgow Pollock Constituency Labour party argues that loan repayments will only reduce the numbers of students from lower-income families, while North Southwark and Bermondsey CLP calls simply for the abolition of loans and the restoration of comprehensive student grants.

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