I have an interest in finding out about the MP for Salford, because I live in Salford, so the MP for Salford is "my" MP.
For those of you who don't know anything about Salford's politics (and why should you?!), here's the background:
1. Our current MP, Hazel Blears, announced she was standing down at the next General Election.
2. Salford is a "safe" (ultra-safe) Labour seat. It is impossible to think that Salford could elect an MP that is not standing for Labour. Therefore, whoever Labour pick as their candidate for Salford will undoubtedly become the MP for Salford.
So, who is the Labour candidate for Salford for the Election in May?
The answer is: Rebecca Long-Bailey.
She was chosen as the candidate back in August 2014, so I presumed a quick Google search would produce some results..
Wrong! Very little.
A couple of articles in local newspapers, and that's about it. I've learnt that she is a 35-year old, Cheshire-based solicitor. She also told the Manchester Evening News "I intend to be an MP who lives in the constituency they represent. I think that is important". So, currently, she doesn't live in the constituency. She lives in Cheshire.
But, the really worrying thing is that Ms Long-Bailey has already had 4 months to start-up her campaign, and develop a "presence", and it is now only 4 months to the election. And yet, there is almost a complete dearth of information. Any moderately media-savvy person knows that an "online presence" is necessary. So, I expected her to have her own webpage. Nope - can't find anything. I found that Labour has a website called SalfordLabour. Well, surely that will mention her. Embarrassingly, down at the bottom of the page there is a one-line "congratulations" to her as candidate. But, hardly, what I expected. I expected her to be all over the homepage..
So, Ms Long-Bailey, soon to be MP for Salford & Eccles is a real mystery. It's an unusual campaign strategy I'll give her that. It seems that she has gone to Google, and said "please take down those embarrassing drunken photos from when I was at Uni", and Google have accidentally removed all trace of her existence.