Croydon Central will have all-woman list for Labour

The Labour party candidate for the Croydon Central parliamentary seat will be a woman, according to a report on the Labour List website today.

Thornton Heath councillor Louisa Woodley: one of the women who were passed over by Croydon North and who might go forward for Labour's all-woman shortlist in Croydon Central

Thornton Heath councillor Louisa Woodley: one of the women who were passed over by Croydon North and who might go forward for Labour’s all-woman shortlist in Croydon Central

The seat, which was held by Labour until 2005, is represented by Gavin Barwell of the Conservative party, who won at the 2010 general election with a majority of less than 3,000 votes.

Croydon Central has already been earmarked by Labour as one of its target seats in its bid to win power at the next election, likely to be held in May 2015.

Croydon Central is one of two London seats in the latest batch of recommendations for an All-Women Shortlist by the Labour party’s “Org Sub” committee – the other is the ultra-marginal Hampstead and Kilburn, currently held by the veteran MP and former actress, Glenda Jackson.

The decision to make Croydon Central an “AWS” rules out candidacies from the likes of senior Croydon councillor Gerry Ryan, who was second at the 2010 general election, and Andrew Pelling, Inside Croydon‘s occasionally contributing editor, who won the seat in 2005 for the Tories, stood as an independent in 2010, and is now a Labour party member.

With Labour wanting to have AWS in half of all target seats, there has been speculation that Croydon Central would be among those since November, when Lambeth Council leader Steve Reed was picked from an open shortlist by local Labour party members to be their candidate for the byelection called after the death of Malcolm Wicks.

Reed, who went on to win the election in the very safe seat, was chosen by members by a narrow margin ahead of strong women candidates Louisa Woodley, who ran for the GLA for Croydon and Sutton last May, and Val Shawcross, the London Assembly Member and former leader of Labour’s group in Croydon.

Both Woodley and Shawcross could be candidates again for Croydon Central, though as Inside Croydon reported last month, insiders believe that the candidacy is being laid out for Nina Champion, a political associate of Harriet Harman, the Labour party’s deputy leader.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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