Butler quick to declare candidacy for Labour nomination

Alison Butler, the deputy leader of the Labour group on Croydon Council, has given up her job at Westminster as she launches her campaign for selection as her party’s parliamentary election candidate to stand against Gavin Barwell in Croydon Central in 2015.

Councillor Alison Butler: one of the first to declare as a candidate for selection by Labour for Croydon Central

Councillor Alison Butler: one of the first to declare as a candidate for selection by Labour for Croydon Central

Labour opened its selection process on Friday by inviting applications, and Butler, a councillor for Bensham Manor was first out of the starting gate with an email to the party members in the constituency and launching a website, alisonbutler.org.

“I worked for Malcolm Wicks for over 20 years and with his incredibly sad death it was time to move on,” said Butler, who had been a parliamentary assistant to the Croydon North MP.

The new Labour MP for Croydon North, Steve Reed, has been busy recruiting staff since his election in November. The former leader of Lambeth Council has appointed another councillor from Brixton Town Hall, Matthew Bennett, as his head of office, and he has also hired a new case worker.

When asked for the new staffing details of the Croydon North MP’s office, Bennett declined.

Today, Butler told Inside Croydon: “Steve is now settled in his new post so at the end of my temporary contract it is a good time to move on and concentrate on other things.

“At the moment I have two major priorities, ensuring we have a Labour Council in 2014 –  not for the sake of just having a Labour Council but knowing the difference this will make to people living in Croydon. Secondly, ensuring we win Croydon Central in 2015 and therefore have a Labour government, hopefully with me as the candidate.”

Labour has opted for an all-women shortlist for Croydon Central, thereby preventing two of the unsuccessful 2010 General Election candidates, Gerry Ryan and Andrew Pelling, the former Tory MP who stood as an independent, from seeking nomination to stand in 2015.

The other women to have declared that they will be competing with Butler for the votes of Labour members in Croydon Central include Louisa Woodley, a councillor in Thornton Heath who was Labour’s candidate for Croydon and Sutton in the Greater London Assembly elections last year.

Sarah Jones, a long-time Labour activist who lives in Shirley, has also put herself forward. She previously worked for MPs Mo Mowlem and Geraint Davies, and has extensive professional experience working in communications, for housing charity Shelter, the NHS Confederation and, most recently, in the government department handling the Olympic Games.

And “mum, activist, campaigner” Catriona Ogilvy also declared her hand over the weekend. The candidacy of Blairite Ogilvy may be signal of the growing “Lambeth-isation” of Croydon’s Labour party. Ogilvy is an occupational therapist working in the National Health, who was politically active until very recently in Lambeth, where her husband, Mike Smith, is a ward councillor.

Whoever is ultimately selected – with a decision to be announced in July – they look to have their work cut out to dislodge Barwell, with a ComRes poll yesterday giving Labour nationally only a 4 per cent advantage over the Tories, which would not be enough to win back the Croydon Central seat that Labour lost in 2005.

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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 inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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3 Responses to Butler quick to declare candidacy for Labour nomination

  1. Good luck to Alison Butler my neighbour.

    I am very disappointed with the Labour party for its all female candidate list. Members of parliament should be selected on merit and they should represent the voters. I am sure Alison is more than capable of of being a member of parliament. She has worked for Mr. Wicks for 20 years.

    Labour party members should select a candidate on merit whether male or female.

    This shows that the party is more about political correctness and trying to please female, BME candidates (Sorry even BME candidates were not selected for local elections because of a threat to sitting councillors) and not about doing the right thing.

  2. kusumparashar says:

    How would you bring Ethnic minority women MPs in Parliament if you can’t implement an equality law of representation in Parliament? I wonder about your ignorant view in politics. That is why “All Women Short” list policy was brought forward, but more needs to be done in order to bring more Asian women representation including older women too. Ed Miliband is doing the right thing . He can bring the changes, and we need to have a labour representation which reflects a wider diverse community,

    • kusumparashar says:

      I don’t know about Alison Butler, apart from what she wrote in her personal statement. I have no doubt about her candidacy and experience that she can represent Croydon Central well in the house of commons as a labour representative, but at the end of the day the Labour membership ballot will select the best candidate. The 2015 General election is not so much about the local issues but it is about the National Issues and implementing the Labour values and principles as well as delivering, which affects the local people at all levels. Thank you very much indeed. Kusum Parashar

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