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TV reporter picked as Labour’s candidate for Norwich South

Clive Lewis, Labour's parliamentary candidate for Norwich South.

Clive Lewis, Labour's parliamentary candidate for Norwich South.

Archant Norfolk

Television reporter Clive Lewis has been picked by Labour to challenge Simon Wright for the Norwich South seat at the next general election.

Mr Lewis, 40, emerged as the party’s choice at a hustings held at CNS School in Eaton Road today (Saturday), after he saw off challengers including Blur drummer Dave Rowntree.

The reporter for Look East and the BBC’s Politics Show got the nod after weeks of campaigning culminated in a hustings where the four short-listed candidates addressed party members.

They also took part in a question and answer session, with the whole process lasting for more than four hours.

In his acceptance speech, Mr Lewis said the days of Chloe Smith (Norwich North Conservative MP) and Liberal Democrat Mr Wright, were “coming to an end.”

He said it was a privilege and an honour to be selected to fight to regain the seat Mr Wright took from Labour’s Charles Clarke in last year’s general election.

He told the Labour members: “We are going to go from strength to strength and we are going to take this city back.”

Mr Lewis was selected last year to take part in Operation Black Vote’s MP Shadowing Scheme at the Houses of Parliament - aimed at nurturing the next generation of black, Asian and Chinese politicians and community leaders.

Mr Lewis, who served a tour as a Territorial Army officer in Helmand province in 2009, had the support of the East of England Co-operative Party and GMB Norwich General Branch.

The other four short-listed candidates, who were whittled down from an initial list of 30, were Blur drummer Mr Rowntree, Victoria MacDonald, Norwich City councillor for Lakenham and cabinet member for housing and Joe Goldberg, cabinet member for finance and carbon reduction at Haringey Council in London.

Labour had made Norwich South a priority seat to get a parliamentary candidate in place as quickly as possible, after identifying it as a constituency they believe can be won when the next general election, likely to be in 2015, takes place.

• See Monday’s EDP and Evening News for an interview with Mr Lewis.

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