PARLIAMENT beckons for a Kidderminster man who has been selected as Labour candidate for a safe seat.

Tom Watson, 34, has been chosen as Labour prospective parliamentary candidate for West Bromwich East at the next General Election.

The former chairman of Wyre Forest Labour Party has come a long way since his last election victory -- at Sladen Middle School in 1979!

He said: "I was the Labour candidate in a mock election and won. I never thought then I would be standing for parliament.

"Hopefully, I will be able to repeat the same feat at West Bromwich."

Some would say Mr Watson, who was one of the architects of Labour's successful 1997 campaign, is playing down his chances.

The constituency is a Labour party stronghold. Outgoing MP Peter Snape, who has held the seat for 27 years, has a majority of 13,500.

Mr Watson, a national officer in the Amalgamated Electrical and Engineering Union, will be fighting his first General Election.

After attending King Charles High School he read Politics at Hull University.

He worked for the Labour Party and Save the Children's Fund before his move to the union.

In 1997 he was deputy General Election co-ordinator for the Labour Party and headed up the organisation of the last five days of Tony Blair's campaign.

His father Tony and brother Dan are former Wyre Forest district councillors.

Mr Watson, who is married to Siobhan, said: "Politics has been a lifelong passion of mine and I am delighted and honoured to have this opportunity.

"My two dreams are to be an MP and for Kidderminster Harriers to win the FA Cup."

Certainly Harriers' footballing links with the constituency has won Mr Watson a few new friends.

He said: "I thought being a Kidderminster Harriers fan would not go down well with West Bromwich folk but they are more than pleased as they got Lee Hughes from us!"