by: Natalie Evans
. Published Fri 05 Feb 2010
Royle Family star Ricky Tomlinson wants to stand for parliament at the General Election.
Left-winger Ricky aims to run against Luciana Berger – one of “Brown’s Babes” selected from an all-woman shortlist to contest what was regarded as a safe Labour seat.
Actor Ricky needs to overturn the majority of 5,173 in Liverpool Wavertree scored by long-serving MP Jane Kennedy who resigned is stepping-down.
Ricky decided to stand because he is incensed that Labour selected Londoner Luciana Berger who was “parachuted” into the seat in controversial circumstances.
Scouser Ricky will seek the backing of the the Socialist Labour Party, of which he is a member, to stand as its official candidate.
If selected to run Ricky said his campaign slogan could be “Berger? My arse! ” a nod to the catchphrase of his famed TV character Jim Royle.
His move comes as a further blow to 28-year-old Berger, whose selection has been mired in controversy.
The Director of “Labour Friends of Israel” beat Liverpool councillors Wendy Simon and Joyce Still by a margin of around 2-1 to win the candidacy on all-women shortlist.
However, veteran Liverpool Walton MP Peter Kilfoyle branded her a “student politician” who lacks the experience to do the job.
UNISON has also challenged her appointment with an official complaint to Labour, demanding answers and questioning Miss Berger’s relationship with former Wavertree MP Jane Kennedy, at whose home she stayed during the selection process.
Condemning Berger’s lack of local knowledge, comedian Ricky said: “This woman that they have parachuted in from London could not even answer some easy questions about Liverpool.
“People say if you want you could be letting the Tories in. But there is no difference between the Conservatives and New Labour.
“At one time, Liverpool had a contingent of working class MPs. If I get nominated it would be an awful cut in wages. But I just think the state of British politics is abhorrent.”
A firebrand trade unionist who was once jailed for alleged violence on a picket line, Ricky, argues any MP representing a Liverpool seat should understand unemployment.
He said: “I just can’t understand why they have picked someone from London. It just does not make sense to me.”
Tomlinson was jailed in 1973 for acting as a flying picket during the building strike in which unionists confronted the then Conservative government.
He was sentenced to six years but was released after two following mass protests and has always contested his innocence.