The shortlist has been announced in the race to be Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Stevenage in the next general election – and we’ve spoken to everyone in the running. 

Four candidates made the leap from the longlist to the shortlist, and one of them will be on your ballot paper in the next general election, which must be held no later than January 2025. 

The candidates will speak at a hustings on November 12, to which all eligible members of Stevenage Constituency Labour Party will be invited.

Members will vote for their preferred candidate, with the winner announced the same day. 

We put two questions to every candidate. 

1. Why do you want to stand in Stevenage? 

The Comet: Kevin Bonavia was Labour's candidate for the Clacton constituency in 2019Kevin Bonavia was Labour's candidate for the Clacton constituency in 2019 (Image: Kevin Bonavia)

Kevin Bonavia: "Because our community has been let down repeatedly by Stephen McPartland and the Tories. They don’t understand what it’s like struggling to heat homes, pay bills and cover the rent/mortgage.

"This is my home and I want the best for it – decent homes, thriving schools, quality jobs. Keir Starmer has a plan for Stevenage. I will work with our Labour councillors to deliver it." 

The Comet: Nazmin Chowdhury is a councillor for Bedwell ward in StevenageNazmin Chowdhury is a councillor for Bedwell ward in Stevenage (Image: Nazmin Chowdhury)

Nazmin Chowdhury: "Stevenage has been my home for most of my life. I grew up here, went to school here, and dispensed medicines at the Oval Pharmacy while studying law to become a solicitor.

"I presented radio shows on SG1 radio, I work as a Stevenage World Forum community connector and I am an elected Stevenage Borough Council councillor for Bedwell.

"Stevenage is where ‘the heart of a town lies in its people’ - I want to be that local voice representing us in parliament." 

The Comet: John Howard is a councillor in RedbridgeJohn Howard is a councillor in Redbridge (Image: John Howard)

John Howard: "What I see in Stevenage is the promise of a New Town let down badly by the Tories. Stevenage, like my home town, was a place that grew as people wanted a better life for their families.

"As MP for Stevenage, my mission is to reinvigorate that promise – creating more jobs, fixing our local health service and making sure every child gets a world-class education. That’s what I will be fighting for."

The Comet: Naushabah Khan was Labour's candidate for Rochester and Strood in the 2015 general electionNaushabah Khan was Labour's candidate for Rochester and Strood in the 2015 general election (Image: Naushabah Khan)

Naushabah Khan: "Stevenage is an ambitious place which has so much to be proud of. At the forefront of science and innovation, there are plenty of opportunities to succeed, but there are also challenges.

"The cost-of-living crisis, challenges in the housing market and inequalities in healthcare are having an impact on residents.

"We need a strong voice in parliament that is willing to stand up for local people and deliver change, I hope to be that candidate."

If you could implement one policy nationally, what would it be and why? 

Kevin Bonavia: "I would end no-fault evictions for renters. Time and time again I have come across people without a secure home.

"This is only becoming worse with the cost-of-living crisis. Last month, a survey by 38 Degrees/Survation found that more than one in five Stevenage residents fear losing their homes next year." 

Nazmin Chowdhury: "We are at the mercy of big energy companies to allow our families to heat their homes and our busniesses to thrive. I support Labour’s plan to insulate millions of homes this winter, and secure our national energy supplies." 

John Howard: "I want to bring the next generation of green manufacturing jobs to Stevenage. Creating good jobs and high-quality apprenticeships for local people. Stevenage is the heart of high-tech manufacturing in the UK – we make solar panels for space, but not for people’s homes. We need to create more green energy. Let’s build it here in Stevenage." 

Naushabah Khan: "One of the biggest challenges we face is in housing. I would push for greater reform within the private rented sector and social housing, specifically exploring policies that enable us to manage the cost of renting and the availability of homes." 

Stevenage’s current MP, Stephen McPartland, was approached for comment on this article - and on whether he is planning to run in the next General Election. The Comet is awaiting response.