Charlotte Cornell wants to follow in her boss’s footsteps and become an MP

Labour MP Rosie Duffield’s chief of staff close to standing for Parliament herself

Canterbury and Whitstable Labour MP Rosie Duffield’s chief of staff has been shortlisted to stand for Parliament at the next general election.

Charlotte Cornell says she is “delighted” to have made the final stages to contest the Dover and Deal constituency.

The seat is held by Charlie Elphicke, who won in 2010 standing as a Conservative, but now sits in the Commons as an independent after he was suspended from the party in November following “serious allegations” made against him.

Rosie Duffield has been MP since June

Ms Cornell has worked for Ms Duffield since last year when she became the first female and Labour MP Canterbury has ever had.

“I have spent nearly all my adult life here in Kent, raising a young family,” Ms Cornell said. “I spent 10 years as a teacher and as my workplace union rep.

“I want to be the voice that Dover, Deal and the villages deserve.

“I’m a seasoned campaigner and have been a loyal Labour Party member for almost 15 years.”

Ms Cornell, who studied at Cambridge University, says her policy priorities include the Port of Dover’s future after the UK’s departure from the European Union and an end to rogue landlords and poor housing conditions.

She also backs a fully comprehensive secondary education system and has pledged herself to supporting the NHS in the form of “three strong hospitals” in east Kent.

“I want a fully funded, publically-owned NHS driven by improving standards, not putting money in private individuals’ pockets,” Ms Cornell added.

Ms Duffield defeated Conservative Sir Julian Brazier by just 187 votes to secure Labour’s first ever victory in the Canterbury and Whitstable constituency on June 8.

Unlike Canterbury, Labour has previously held Dover and Deal. Welshman Gwyn Prosser represented the area between 1997 and 2010.

If Ms Cornell is selected as the official candidate, she will have to overturn the Conservatives’ majority of more than 6,400 to become an MP.

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