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Stephen Kinnock: The rise of the Red Prince

While some remain sceptical and claim favouritism, others believe the PM's husband can make a big difference in British politics

“Helle and Stephen are Europe’s social democratic power couple," says a former UK minister (photo: Scanpix) N

March 28, 2014

by Ben Hamilton

Stephen Kinnock – the husband of the Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt who was on March 22 selected as the Labour candidate for an extremely safe seat in Aberavon in southern Wales – has exactly the kind of qualities that his party can utilise should they return to power at the UK general election in 2015, according to a former government minister.

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A Brit-Dane axis
First of all, the UK's former Europe minister Denis MacShane told English newspaper the Evening Standard, there is his marriage to Thorning-Schmidt.

“If [Labour leader Ed] Miliband becomes PM, I am sure he will use Kinnock MP to help forge a Brit-Dane axis for EU reform,” he said.

“It’s a bit ‘Borgen’-like of course, but Britain and Denmark are natural allies.”

READ MORE: Who is ... Stephen Kinnock

High-quality individual
And then there is his background.

“It’s exciting that the increasingly introverted [House of] Commons, which has no-one today with hands-on European experience and languages, can attract the talent of a high-quality individual like Stephen,” MacShane continued.

“Helle and Stephen are Europe’s social democratic power couple. They have a combined address book of every key decision-maker in Europe.”

READ MORE: PM's husband launches own political career

The Red Princes
However, there are some in Britain who are sceptical about Kinnock’s recent decision to go into politics. His prospects along with those of the sons of three other former Labour heavyweights – Tony Blair, Jack Straw and John Prescott – were assessed in a full-page (very rare by its normal standards) political piece by the UK’s best-selling newspaper The Sun earlier this week.

The four have been dubbed the ‘Red Princes’ amid claims of nepotism and cronyism within the party.

Kinnock is dismissive of such claims and somewhat irritated by them.

“It’s not a universal advantage at all to have the surname that I have,” he told the BBC after winning the Aberavon candidacy.

“I think there are people who actually may have well voted against me yesterday because of who my family is.”

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