Safe seat: Euan Blair (pictured on his wedding day) is said to be targeting one of Labour's safest seats, Bootle, in the next general election
Euan Blair is targeting one of Labour’s safest seats for the next general election, it was reported last night.
The ambitious 29-year-old, son of Tony Blair, is believed to have his eye on Bootle, Merseyside, just a stone’s throw from his mother Cherie’s childhood home.
She was raised in Waterloo, north of the tough Bootle patch which Labour holds with a majority of more than 21,000.
Bootle’s 81-year-old Labour MP, Joe Benton, has vowed to stand again for the seat in 2015. But he is fighting de-selection and has already lost at least one ward.
Labour HQ is considering throwing the seat open to a formal selection contest at the end of next month.
The former prime minister’s son could find himself grappling for the seat with the incumbent MP – who has held the position for 24 years – as well as local council leader Peter Dowd and other activists. Labour would have to sidestep its default all-women shortlist system to allow Mr Blair and other men to run.
He had been interested in the Coventry seat of former paymaster general and Gordon Brown ally, Geoffrey Robinson. But the young would-be MP was seen off by Mr Robinson, who was re-selected by colleagues.
Mr Blair lives with wife Suzanne, whom he married last year, in a £3million home in central London, which he jointly bought with his mother. He is believed to have quit his lucrative job at investment bank Morgan Stanley to focus on building his political career. But he caused controversy by working for the Republicans in Washington.
A Labour source said the idea of the ‘heir to Blair’ taking the Bootle seat would be a ‘disaster’.
The source told the Liverpool Echo newspaper: ‘There’s no way Labour is going to lose Bootle, but the idea of parachuting someone like Euan Blair in would be a disaster, a joke.’
But the 29-year-old’s trump card could be his mother’s close ties to the area. She was even rumoured to be seeking the seat herself 12 years ago and served as Chancellor Emeritus of Liverpool John Moores University.
Mrs Blair has often spoken of her pride in coming from Merseyside and said she was inspired to become a QC by local heroine Rose Heilbron, one of the first women to be appointed a Queen’s Counsel in the UK.
Childhood home: The Bootle constituency is just south of Waterloo, where Euan's mother Cherie was raised
Current Bootle MP Mr Benton, who is currently in Strasbourg, could not be reached for comment. But a spokesman said: ‘He is seeking re-selection for the 2015 general election and Bootle Constituency Labour Party has started the usual process that every sitting MP seeking re-selection will face.
‘The process began just last week and the outcome won’t be known until each ward and affiliated organisation has met, which will take several weeks.’
A Labour spokesman said: ‘The Labour Party standard re-selection procedure for sitting MPs has begun in Bootle. A result is expected on May 30.’
Mr Blair is one of three ‘Red Princes’ – heirs of Labour politicians – to seek seats in recent months. Stephen Kinnock, son of former party leader Neil Kinnock, is the candidate for the safe seat of Aberavon in South Wales.
Will Straw, whose father is former foreign secretary Jack Straw, is running in Rossendale and Darwen, while former deputy prime minister John Prescott’s son David is eyeing up a London seat.