Simon’s name features on a list of seven Labour Party hopefuls for next year’s European Parliament elections.
But his chances of actually getting to Brussels could be hampered by Labour’s insistence on giving selection priority to women candidates.
The party’s positive action rules stipulate that a woman must top the regional list of candidates followed by a man and woman in alternate order – a so-called zipping process.
Therefore, a woman candidate will be in first, third, fifth and seventh place, and a man in second, fourth and sixth place.
It is unlikely under the proportional representation system and regional list used at the Euro polls that Labour can win more than two of the seven West Midlands seats up for grabs. The party has only one MEP for the region at the moment, Michael Cashman, who is standing down.
Labour organisers expect the 2014 election to deliver