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Croydon South candidate and Tony Benn's granddaughter Emily insists 'last name doesn't matter'

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TONY Benn's granddaughter Emily Benn has been chosen as Labour's prospective candidate for Croydon South at next year's General Election. She will take on the Conservatives' Chris Philp, a multi-millionaire businessman who was selected last November after incumbent Sir Richard Ottaway announced he would not seek re-election in 2015. However, the 24-year-old, who works for an investment bank, admitted she won't be buying a house in the constituency just yet - because she cannot afford to. Croydon South is one of the safest seats for the Tories in London and Ms Benn will have her work cut out to overturn a majority of 15,818 votes. "It may be a challenge," she said. "But I firmly believe there should be no 'no-go' areas for the Labour Party." Ms Benn, who works in the City for investment bank UBS, was selected by local party members at a meeting on Saturday. "It's a big responsibility because I've lived in Croydon my whole life, so being a candidate for part of my home borough is wonderful," she told the Advertiser. Ms Benn said she would campaign on local issues like the Cane Hill development in Coulsdon, and the minor injuries unit in Purley, but also national issues that affected locals, such as the cost of living and house prices. On this point, she made a stark admission: "I want to buy a house in Croydon, but there's no way I can afford it. "I had dreams of saving up and buying, but those dreams are over." On hearing of Ms Benn's selection, Mr Philp said he was "looking forward to taking on a representative of old school socialism". "I think what people are going to be voting on is the fact that Labour wrecked the economy the last time they were in power and finally the Conservative government are fixing that mess," he said. "It'll take someone with more than a family name to tackle the problems facing voters." In response, Ms Benn said her last name "doesn't matter". "I'd much rather talk about issues and politics, not about the people involved," she added. Ms Benn was elected to Croydon Council in May, representing the West Thornton ward. If elected next year, she would become the fifth generation of the Benn family to sit in the Commons. Ms Benn stood at the 2010 General Election in East Worthing and Shoreham, finishing third behind the Tories and Lib Dems.

Croydon South candidate and Tony Benn's granddaughter Emily insists 'last name doesn't matter'


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