Tony Blair's eldest son Euan in the frame for safe Labour seat in Bootle

 

Euan Blair, 30 year old son of the former Prime Minister, is being touted as the next MP for one of the safest Labour seats in the country.

Joe Benton, the 81-year-old MP for Bootle, on Merseyside, is under pressure from local activists to quit at the next election, because of his age.

A local council leader, Peter Dowd, is known to be interested in the seat, but some local activists are saying they would prefer an outsider who would "put Bootle on the map" – and point to Euan Blair’s link to the north west via his mother, Cherie, who was brought up in Liverpool.

One very highly placed source in the North West said: “I have no doubt that Euan Blair would be interested in Bootle because I know he is interested in getting a seat and because of the connection with his mum. The connection through Cherie has been mentioned on numerous occasions by people in the know.”

He added that the talk of adopting Tony Blair’s older son is coming from local activists who are considering inviting him to out his name forward rather than from Euan Blair himself. “I don’t think he has done anything yet to advance his candidature.”

Mr Blair was rumoured to be interested in Coventry North West until the 75-year-old sitting MP, Geoffrey Robinson, announced that he wants to run again. Bootle was until recently the safest Labour seat in the UK. In 2010, Mr Benton, who has represented Bootle for 24 years, received more than 66 per cent of votes cast, despite a fall in Labour’s support.

He has said that he wants to serve another term. Most sitting Labour MPs who want to continue can expect to be reselected unopposed, but local party branches in Bootle have indicated that they want an open contest. A decision is due next month. If he has to run against other potential candidates it is likely that Mr Benton will pull out rather than risk humiliation. While the Blair name is a draw for some members of Bootle Labour Party, there would be vigorous opposition from others. One party member told the Liverpool Echo: “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.”

Mr Dowd, who has been a local councillor since 1991, and is the current leader of Sefton Council, is the obvious choice for those who want a local candidate. The Communications Workers Union has a big presence in Bootle, which is where the National Giro has its headquarters, but the CWU General Secretary, Billy Hayes, has denied being interested in the seat.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment C...

Recruitment Genius: Interactive / Mobile Developer

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - Midweight

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Recruitment Genius: Junior Front End Developer

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks