Labour chooses General election candidate for South Thanet – plus the runners so far

Labour's Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt

Labour Party members have selected Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt to be the parliamentary candidate for South Thanet in the next General Election.

The vote took place yesterday (October 27) with Rebecca taking some 72% of the vote. Other candidates were Karen Constantine and Dan Tomlinson. Ramsgate mayor Raushan Ara stood down from the contest.

Dr Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt worked as a curator of international contemporary art for a decade from the mid-1990s before turning her attention to policy analysis. She has researched the privatisation of the Royal Mail and the devolution of culture in Scotland, as well as drafting a new arts, health and wellbeing policy which was launched in Parliament in July 2017.

She has also worked as a parliamentary researcher, interrogating policy and legislation. Joining South Thanet Labour Party in 2015, Rebecca has served as Policy Officer and joint campaign coordinator for Ramsgate branch.

She has been central to Save Our NHS in Kent’s campaign to stop the stroke unit and A&E closures at QEQM, and she has been vocal in her criticism of the closure of Wayfarers care home in Sandwich. Rebecca has begun work on bringing the ‘Preston Model’ (a plan for community wealth and job creation with proven success) to Thanet.

In a social media message she said: “I’m delighted to announce that I’ve been reselected as South Thanet Labour’s parliamentary candidate. Huge thanks to everyone who supported me. Now let’s fight the General Election!”

In December the Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) decided not to endorse Dr Gordon-Nesbitt after she was selected by party members in April.  The NEC  did not endorse the former art curator due to concerns raised based on tweets made from a Centre for Cultural Change Twitter account.

Labour’s National Constitutional Committee (NCC), later dismissed allegations.

Other South Thanet PPC’s so far


Craig Mackinlay

Craig Mackinlay, the current Conservative MP, has been endorsed by his party to fight for the constituency in the  General Election.

Mr Mackinlay took the seat in the 2015 General Election, beating closest contender Ukip leader Nigel Farage by a narrow margin of some 2,000 votes.

In 2017 Mr Mackinlay took the South Thanet seat with  25, 262 votes. Raushan Ara, for Labour, polled 18,875 votes.

The Brexit Party

Timothy Vince (South Thanet) has extensive commercial and charity management experience in the UK and the Middle East, has two children studying at UCL, and served as chair of school governors for SEN children. He said: “The EU has assumed unaccountable powers without mandate. We must restore trust in politics; we must leave the EU.”

The Green Party

Becky Wing was elected to Thanet District Council and Ramsgate Town Council in May 2019 as one of a team of three new Green Councillors. She’s already made an impact, campaigning for a solution to the problems at Ramsgate Port and Harbour, insisting on fair treatment for Council staff and working on environmental issues in response to Thanet’s Climate Emergency declaration.

In her working life Becky is a former teacher who now works with young people affected by gangs as part of Charlton Athletic Community Trust’s outreach team. Locally she’s also well known as Chair of the Addington St Community Group which runs the hugely popular annual Addington St Revival Fair.

As a permanent resident of Ramsgate herself, if she’s elected Becky wants to be to be a powerful voice for local people, to make progress in tackling the poverty and inequality that blight South Thanet, and to build on her approach in local politics of putting people and places first.

Liberal Democrats

Martyn Pennington lives in Westgate on Sea, where he lives with his wife Cheri. He was born in Bolton (Lancashire), but grew up on Tyneside. He studied modern languages at University College London before spending two years as a volunteer English teacher in Madagascar. His career was in international development, working for the UK Government and the European Commission in the design, implementation and evaluation of development programmes, from community-level projects, through major infrastructure projects, national programmes and budget management. Now retired, he enjoys watching football and cricket, and playing guitar in the worship band at Christ Church in Westgate.

North Thanet


Sir Roger Gale

North Thanet`s MP Sir Roger Gale, first elected to Parliament in June 1983,

He works as the senior member of the Speaker`s Panel of Chairmen in the House of Commons. Previous career experience includes being a market researcher, television and radio producer/director and voluntary work as a ( Trustee and Chairman of  national and local charities.

He is a husband, father of three and grandfather and a pet-owner.

The Brexit Party

John Fitzpatrick (North Thanet) is an emeritus professor of law in the University of Kent, a leftist and a lifelong trade union activist. He said: “The continuing failure to implement the 2016 Referendum is the single most destructive development in domestic politics in modern times. We need to Leave the EU, and rebuild our democracy.”

The Green Party

Rob Edwards is fairly new to politics but determined to make his mark! He has lived in Westgate-on-Sea nearly all his life and is committed to making a positive difference to the town and constituency.

Rob works as a Sports Club Manager and in the past has also worked at the Carlton Cinema, as a personal trainer, in professional football and in recruitment. He was active for the Greens in the 2019 local election campaign and got close to being elected in Westgate.

He’s standing because he believes North Thanet needs an MP who stands up for every person living in Thanet, rather than a select few, and to give a voice to those who find it difficult to speak up. As a younger candidate, he’s keen to try to connect with those younger people who feel disassociated from mainstream politics and those concerned about the climate emergency.

Liberal Democrats

Angie Curwen has lived in Birchington for 25 years.  She was born in Sandwich, studied Business Studies in London and worked in health care, the pharmaceutical industry and information technology.  She moved back to Birchington in 1991 with husband Tony and has a grown-up daughter and son.

She has previously served Thanet on the leadership team of the Independent Thanet Tourism Association (ITTA), working with Visit Thanet and Visit Kent representing the voice of “the villages”.


Labour will hold a selection process for the party candidate next month

General Election

Yet another General Election is looming as Prime Minister Boris Johnson puts forward proposals for a poll on December 12.

The latest General Election plan coincides with yet another extension to Brexit with EU Council President Donald Tusk saying a “flextension” – meaning the UK could leave before the deadline if a deal was approved by Parliament – is agreed in principle until January 31, 2020.


  1. I wonder if the losing candidates will now fully support the winner. Rallying around one candidate hasn’t been a thing in the past

  2. I’m sure we in the Labour Party in Thanet are keen to get rid of Roger gale and Craig McKinley: two of Johnson’s mob who want to destroy our nhs.

    • I’m not a Tory supporter – and never will be – but Roger Gale is working tirelessly for the interests of British citizens living, working and retired in the various EU states. Not only do they not get a mention in the Withdrawal Agreement but those who have lived abroad for more than 15 years are disenfranchised and can’t vote in UK or the General Elections in their new homes. What will YOU, and Labour, do to help those 3 million “ex-pats”?

  3. “As set out in the Labour Party’s rule book, all Parliamentary candidates must be endorsed by the NEC and the NEC has a responsibility to ensure all candidates meet the Party’s high standards. The NEC takes this responsibility very seriously. Decisions on endorsement of candidates are some of the most important and difficult NEC members can take. The panel members give very careful consideration to all the material they are shown and to everything said during the candidate’s interview. In circumstances like these, they have to make a political judgment, based on their long experience, about how effectively the Party and the candidate can manage adverse publicity about the candidate’s own past conduct. That was especially important here, when there was a real possibility of a by-election with a national media focus on the parties’ candidates. The panel’s decision is final, and was subsequently discussed at the full Organisation Committee which agreed to note it. We realise that many members of the CLP will be disappointed with the outcome. But we would encourage everyone to move on in a spirit of unity, with our eye on the prize of a Labour government following a general election that could still come much sooner than we think.”
    Many members of the CLP will have received an email last Friday evening (‪25 January‬) sent via Organise. That email amongst other things encouraged members to donate to a Go Fund Me fundraiser relating to possible legal action against the Labour Party.
    That email has been deemed to be a misuse of the Organise system and members should not have been sent it Apologies to those of you who received it. The matter is now being investigated further by the Party’s Governance & Legal Unit. 

  4. Good luck Rebecca, you’ll certainly get my vote and I hope many others will do their bit to rid Thanet of the Boris brigade i.e. messers Gale and McKinley. Thanet has been under represented for too long as far as the deprivation brought about by this governments austerity program.
    Please, have a look around you and do what’s right and get the tories out!

  5. Old politics is broken after many MPs have gone back on their words and failed to respect the 2016 referendum. What will that mean for a forthcoming election when some can spit out their dummies if they don’t get the result they want? The good news is that many from different political shades are now getting together to talk and form allegiances. It would help communities if people got together to debate, listen and respect each others views, rather than the old hat smears and put downs. The socially engineered divide and rule game should be called out for what it is. Many are so bored of all of the shutting down of debate. The recent choir demonstration outside the Brexit Party public meeting at the Walpole made absolutely no sense, as they had no willingness to listen and debate and engage themselves. We really have to do better in the future to respect each others views, and be open minded enough to do our own research and take on new ideas. Be willingly to listen to all the candidates and trust your own instinct as to who is honest and open, and does not result to the old blame game of others.

  6. I am not a member of any political party, but hope the Labour NEC endorse Rebecca quickly, as I believe she is the only person committed to South Thanet because she lives here, and cares! Neither Tory MP’s Mackinlay or Gale, lives in Thanet! The next General election here will be lost to Labour if the other smaller parties split the vote! Perhaps this time the Greens, and Lib Dems should not run, and get behind Rebecca, to kick the useless Mackinlay out of South Thanet!

  7. Old democrat is still living in a parallel universe. We haven’t got time to sit round the table and sip tea. It’s time to be clear of your beliefs and stick by them. I agree politics is broken but I’m certain that the only way we are going to get rid of this toxic government is to vote Labour. Every time I hear a tory say get brexit done convinces me that the only thing that will get done will be the poorest members of this and every other community. Boris is a proven liar from a background where he thinks it’s his devine right to rule. Vote for Rebecca and get some justice for the majority of this country.

  8. It is time NOW for electors in Thanet to be told the sites of the polling stations are for the election in December. Thanet District Council GET A MOVE ON

  9. It is beyond belief that the Labour NEC has prevented the selection process for a Labour candidate for North Thanet – and seems to be postponing this until DECEMBER!
    The NEC NEEDS to respond to this comment NOW

  10. Anyone but a cargo plane spotting obsessive, or an MP who forgot he owns an airline will attract my vote for consideration. Our existing MPs seem intent on pursuing their own pet aviation projects than actually delivering what’s best for Thanet.

    We need a change. It would help if local Labour stopped the in fighting on candidate choice. So much bickering diminishes Labour as a legitimate opposition alternative.

    Politics in Thanet is alive and well. May the best candidates for Thanet win.

    • The ‘infighting’ that you refer to is maily just two people carping on – and they aren’t in the Labour Party. They are people from outside who are stirring for their own peculiar reasons. Don’t be taken in by them.

  11. Rebecca is undoubtedly the best candidate and any one who does not support Mackinlay and the Faragists should be putting their best efforts towards her election

  12. Vote Labour. Does anyone still believe Big Bad Boris will build new hospitals, put real new money into state education, fully fund the NHS, ensure every elderly person will have the security of a properly funded social care provision, shall I carry on? Thought not. Nuff said. Vote Labour, put an end to social engineering via austerity. Vote Labour end of!

  13. We still do not know who will be the Labour candidate for North Thanet. Can someone put a rocket under the NEC , who appear to think that they are a private club. and the lack of a candidate chosen by North Thanet does not matter in the least?

  14. It is time that we knew where the polling stations are to be – the TDC should arrange for mobile vehicles as polling stations in wards where there is only one polling station very much on one side of the ward. I believe that the cost of such polling stations would not fall on the TDC, but on the Central Government. NO party should be disadvantaged by polling stations being placed far from the main area of support as unfortunately happened at the recent District Council election

  15. It was announced yesterday that Whitehall will refund councils for the cost of alternative polling stations . So there can be ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE for the Thanet authorities not to arrange for more than one polling station in a ward so that all voters can get to one – and what happened in Beacon Road in the TDC election earlier this year should not occur again – arrangements should NOT be left to the last moment this time. Placing a mobile polling station on a suitable space such as Westover Gardens Green should be the answer – and elsewhere in Thanet similar measures should be employed where no permanent buildings are available for use as polling stations.
    The Association of Electoral Administration and Thanet District Council please note their obligation to ALL voters

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