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LABOUR PAIR VIE FOR TOP EURO ROLE

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Two Labour councillors are vying for the leadership of the UK delegation to the European Union's Committee of the R...
Two Labour councillors are vying for the leadership of the UK delegation to the European Union's Committee of the Regions, in what observers see as a battle between new and old Labour.

Ken Bodfish of Brighton and Hove Council is being challenged by Gateshead MBC leader George Gill for leadership of the 24-strong delegation.

The New Labour label is being applied to Mr Bodfish, chair of the Local Government Association's European and International Panel. Mr Gill is the driving force behind the Special Interest Group of Metropolitan Authorities, which he set up because he was sceptical about the LGA's ability to represent the interests of the major cities.

Both men are directors of the Local Government International Bureau.

Local government minister Hilary Armstrong was expected to announce the membership of the delegation this week. If she does, the Labour group will meet next Tuesday to choose its leader, and this person is almost certain to be adopted as the leader of the whole delegation.

The committee represents the interests of local and regional government in the EU.

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