Labour turn to Kenny to defend Kirkcaldy seat

Cllr Kenny Selbie has been chosen as the Labour candidate for Kirkcaldy in the forthcoming General Election
Cllr Kenny Selbie has been chosen as the Labour candidate for Kirkcaldy in the forthcoming General Election

Kenny Selbie has been picked as the Labour Party to defend Gordon Brown’s Westminster seat in May’s General Election.

The Kirkcaldy councillor now has the task of ensuring the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency stays with the party after Mr Brown stands down.

He built up a huge majority in 2012, but the political landscape has changed significantly since then.

Mr Selbie, a councillor for the Kirkcaldy Central ward, was selected by party members at a meeting in Lochgelly Town Hall - as predicted by the Fife Free Press in January.

It was a two-horse race with Michael Marra from Dundee the other candidate.

Mr Selbie also secured the support and backing of the Fife Cooperative Party Branch and a number of trades unions.

He called his selection an “absolute honour and privilege”.

And he said he had been overwhelmed byh the support he had received.

“As someone who is committed to maintaining and strengthening the Labour-Union link and promoting cooperative values, the support of the trade unions and the Coop Party means a lot to me,” he said.

“I look forward to working with colleagues across both movements in the forthcoming election campaign.”

Mr Selbie was first elected to Fife Council in May 2012 for Kirkcaldy Central ward, and is currently the portfolio holder for community safety across Fife.

With a Masters qualification and a degree in politics, his professional background is in discrimination law and policy in both the civil service and local government.

He added: “I’ve been a volunteer and activist for the Labour Party my whole adult life, committed to and passionate about labour values and social justice.

“I decided to put myself forward for selection following humbling support across the party, to ensure that a local, energetic candidate rooted in the Labour movement, who can reach out to a new generation of voters, was available as a credible option to members.

“I now look forward to the forthcoming election campaign and offering a positive vision to the public about the future of our constituency.”

Labour were the last of the main parties to name its Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath candidate for the General Election on May 7.

The SNP have chosen Kirkcaldy resident Roger Mullin.

Mr Mullin is an Honorary Professor at Stirling University’s Management School, where he teaches post-graduate students, and also conducts research and consultancy, related to further and higher education.

The Conservative candidate is long-serving Councillor Dave Dempsey who has served in the Dalgety Bay and Aberdour ward for the last eight years.

The Liberal Democrats have chosen Callum Leslie who most recently stood as the party’s candidate in the Kirkcaldy east by-election.