Cherie Blair's stepmum up for Calder Valley seat

CHERIE Blair's step-mother is among the Labour candidates running for the Calder Valley seat.

Stephanie Booth, married to Cherie Blair's father Tony, is on the shortlist along with Jane Lewis, Kerry May, Ann Moore-Williams and Janet Oosthuysen, the Courier can reveal.

The five are competing to replace Chris McCafferty, who has been the Labour MP for the Calder Valley since 1997. She announced in March last year that she would be standing down at the next election.

Labour party policy dictates that a female MP must be replaced by another woman.

Hebden Royd town councillor Janet Oosthuysen has already announced her intention to stand.

Full-time union official Kerry May has been nominated by the GMB. She has worked on behalf of union members in Calderdale for the past three years and was previously a magisterial officer with West Yorkshire Magistrates Courts.

She was born in Dewsbury, lives in Huddersfield, and is a member of Labour's regional executive board.

Mrs Booth, who stood as a candidate at the local elections in Todmorden, has previous experience as a councillor in Tavistock and, along with her husband Tony, joined the Todmorden branch of the Labour Party after moving to the town in December 2006.

Ann Moore-Williams is a London-based lawyer, and Jane Lewis is an experienced trade unionist and member of the Unite union.

A Labour Party spokesman confirmed the five names but said it was against party policy to comment on regional elections.

The candidate will be chosen at a hustings meeting on July 12.

Only those who have been fully paid-up members of the Labour Party since December 2007 will be allowed to vote.