Labour select former Darling advisor Emily Darlington as MK North candidate

Emily Darlington with Andrew Pakes on the campaign trail
Emily Darlington with Andrew Pakes on the campaign trail
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EMILY Darlington has been selected as Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Milton Keynes North,

The former small business woman and Treasury Special Adviser will to go head-to-head with current MP, Conservative Mark Lancaster.

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Mrs Darlington has pleged to make the economy the battle ground for the general election in 2015.

Mr Lancaster is a member of George Osborne’s Treasury team – a Treasury whip - while Mrs Darlington was special adviser to Alistair Darling until 2008.

Local Labour members met on Saturday to decide who their candidate would be for MK North, eventually selecting Mrs Darlington.

She will campaign in the city alongside Andrew Pakes, who takes on Iain Stewart for the Milton Keynes South seat.

Mrs Darlington said: “I am fighting for a future that works for Milton Keynes and will hold this Government to account for what they are doing to families and small businesses.

“While they give tax cuts to millionaires and big business, they have forgotten the communities and small businesses that are the heart of our country and future.

“Milton Keynes can lead the way for our country’s economic recovery but it needs a government that will stand beside the hard working people that live here and it needs a Labour MP that will fight against unfair and punitive cuts.

“Last week, the Tory Chancellor announced that he is going to squeeze tax credits, maternity and paternity pay and other benefits that hard working people rely on.

“Sixty percent of the homes affected by these latest cuts are going to fall on people in work.

“According to the independent Office for Budget responsibility, the UK is going to suffer a ‘lost decade’ worse than the one suffered by Japan in the 90s. They are also forecasting a further rise in unemployment of 200,000 people, youth unemployment back over a million and for unemployment not to be back to where it is today until the end of 2015.

“Milton Keynes deserves better from the government and it’s MPs. It is time for a change.”

Mrs Darlington, who has a two year old daughter, is an associate at NESTA (the national innovation charity) and leads policy development at the University Alliance.

Previously, she founded a small business and lead the Design Council programme on redesigning public services by involving service users.

She also worked for Mr Darling as a Special Adviser and advised the Labour government on science and innovation. Before working for Labour in Government, she was head of campaigns and communications at the GMB trade union.

Mr Pakes said: “I am delighted that we have a candidate with such a strong family background in the city. As a parent with a young daughter, Emily is well placed to speak up for the many families in the borough facing the squeeze from rising living costs. She understands what it is like to run a small company despite the out of touch actions of this government. The Tories are taking Milton Keynes for granted.”

Earlier this month, Labour was caught up in accusations of sexism against men when the Citizen revealed that the party would only consider female candidates in Milton Keynes North.

Mrs Darlington took on Leighton Buzzard train driver Rebekah Peterson for the role of candidate as a result.

The decision meant seasoned city politician and former MP Brian White couldn’t be considered.