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.