CITY councillor Norma Austin Hart has confirmed she will bid to become the Labour candidate to take over from Alistair Darling when he steps down as MP for Edinburgh South West at next year’s general election.
Two other hopefuls have already declared their interest – fellow councillor Ricky Henderson and Foysol Choudhury, chairman of Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council.
But the News revealed yesterday the selection will be delayed until after the Scottish Labour leadership election is over, meaning no candidate will be in place until January.
Cllr Austin Hart said she had decided to put her name forward after consulting family and friends.
She said: “No-one is going to replace Alistair because he’s held in such high regard, but I would like to build on what he has done.”
Labour’s UK national executive committee must decide if it should be a women-only selection for the seat.
But Cllr Austin Hart said: “Whether it’s an all-women shortlist or not, I will put my hat in the ring.
“I believe I have the experience to do the job and do it well. I have a strong business background, I run my own business and I have been a councillor for the past seven years.”
She represents Liberton/Gilmerton ward on the council, which is not in Edinburgh South West, but lives in Craiglockhart, which is part of the seat. Mr Darling had a majority of 8447 in 2010.