Tony Blair’s son Euan could be 'parachuted into safe Labour seat' at expense of veteran Bootle MP Joe Benton

MP Joe Benton has held the Merseyside seat for 24 years

Euan Blair, the son of former Prime Minister Tony Blair, is allegedly eyeing up the constituency of veteran Bootle MP Joe Benton.

81-year-old Mr Benton has represented the Merseyside constituency for 24 years and has one of the safest Parliamentary seats in the country. 

But he could face losing his seat because of an internal Labour Party rebellion – with Mr Blair rumoured to replace him, the Liverpool Echo reported.

The newspaper cited sources who said seven out of eight of the wards in the constituency have informally indicated they want a selection process.

The Labour Party intervened and a formal vote on whether to have an open contest will be made by the end of next month.

That could mean that other candidates put themselves forward to be prospective parliamentary candidate (PPC).

Sources said that if Mr Benton were to retire – which he has not indicated he intends to do - the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) could impose an all women shortlist.

But several male names have also been touted, including Sefton council leader Cllr Peter Dowd and Mr Blair. 

Labour sources said it would be a “disaster” for the former PM's son to take the Bootle seat.

“There’s no way Labour is going to lose Bootle, but the idea of parachuting someone like Euan Blair in would be a disaster, a joke,” a source told the Liverpool Echo.

“Peter Dowd has Bootle in his heart, grew up round there and so it wouldn’t be like he was being parachuted in.

“But then the question would be who would replace him as leader of the council?”

Mr Benton could yet win the vote and remain and fight the seat again in 2015, but sources said the wards’ choosing to open nominations cast Mr Benton’s future in doubt as it is normally a “formality” that the sitting MP is re-selected.

The regional Labour Party is now formally asking the party what it wants to do, and a result is expected at the end of next month.

Mr Benton was a councillor in the Derby ward of Bootle and was replaced by Cllr Dowd when he became MP in 1990.

The Bootle MP was also leader of Sefton council from 1985 to 1991.

Cllr Dowd, who is also Mr Benton’s election agent, told the newspaper: “I would be interested in standing in the Bootle constituency if I got the support to do it.

“That’s no secret. But I will just wait for the process to run its course, and I’m not going to actively do anything.”

A spokesman for Mr Benton said: “He is seeking re-selection for the 2015 General Election and Bootle Constituency Labour Party has started the usual process that every sitting MP seeking re-selection will face.

“The process began just last week and the outcome won’t be known until each ward and affiliated organisation has met which will take several weeks.”

 A Labour Party spokesman said: “The Labour Party standard re-selection procedure for sitting MPs has begun in Bootle.

“A result is expected on 30 May.”

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments