If Labour shot themselves in the foot by ousting Ian Gibson, then smacked themselves over the head with a mallet with their amateruish by-election campaign, they have done some almost medically impossible with the choice of John Cook (click here for more) as their General Election candidate.
Proving that all parties have issues with selections, Cllr Cook is an Ipswich Borough Councillor who lives and works miles away and whose association with Norwich is a decade old. Now rather than being able to take the fight to MP Chloe Smith, I understand Cllr Cook has already run his campaign into a brick wall as questions about his living and political arrangements surface.
Does Cllr Cook plan to move to Norwich, in his own property, and if so ... when?
If he doesn't, this must surely show that he doesn't believe he can win and won't commit to the City.
Does Cllr Cook plan to move his family with him when he does this to make Norwich his full time home?
Again if he doesn't and simple lodges or stays with somebody then how can he really claims to stand up for local people without understanding our City or its services?
Does Cllr Cook intend to stand down from his Ipswich seat now so he can focus on the campaign ahead in Norwich?
If he doesn't then questions may be asked about how he can represent one area miles away from campaigning in another. Will Cllr Cook continue to claim allowances in Ipswich whilst seeking to be elected in Norwich?
I am not saying Cllr Cook is a bad candidate but he certainly isn't a clear clean choice. Labour will have to spend the first few weeks of this campaign sorting out those issue during which time Miss Smith (not only to let the moss grow) will be consolidating her by-election lead.