Alison Butler and Sarah Jones have emerged as the front-runners for selection as the Labour candidate for the Croydon Central parliamentary seat, following two days of meetings among a panel of local members of the party.
The seat is among Labour’s top targets in 2015 if it is to form the next government.
Butler, the Bensham Manor councillor and the deputy leader of the Labour group on Croydon council, and professional campaigner Jones head the four-strong short-list that also includes former Lambeth activist Catriona Ogilvy and Thornton Heath councillor Louisa Woodley.
The selection reflects very strongly the online polling conducted over the past week by Inside Croydon and Croydon Radio. In Inside Croydon’s poll conducted over the last 48 hours, Jones led the voting with 29 per cent to Butler’s 24 per cent. Ogilvy polled 20 per cent, and Woodley 6 per cent.
The four chosen by the Labour panel includes Woodley as a black and minority ethnic candidate, selected ahead of Hamida Ali, who only last week was picked to contest next year’s council elections in Woodside ward.
The four women on the short-list and their supporters will spend the next three weeks lobbying Croydon Central’s 300-strong Labour membership for their vote at a selection meeting on July 21.
The short-list was chosen by a 10-strong panel of local members, in politically correct, right-on Labour manner comprising five men and five women. Four members of the panel are serving councillors at Croydon Town Hall.
On Saturday, a preliminary meeting of the panel decided to eliminate from the process three “outsiders”, Kusum Parashar, Fiona Dent and Katherine McGuirk, plus the Croydon councillor Alisa Flemming.
The remaining six women, which included the 2010 Croydon South parliamentary candidate and South Norwood councillor Jane Avis, were called for interview today.
Woodley is thought to have been chosen over Ali for the BME place on the short-list thanks to her relatively successful London Assembly campaign in 2012.
Both Butler and Jones have extensive experience of working for MPs at Westminster, Butler for Croydon North MP Malcolm Wicks for 20 years, Jones for the last Labour MP for Croydon Central, Geraint Davies.
Inside Croydon’s experiment with an online open primary will continue for the next three weeks; we have adjusted our poll to include just the short-listed candidates. If you have voted previously (the results can be seen here), you can now vote again for the candidate of your choice. Links to the candidates’ Inside Croydon profiles are below.
- Ten women declare for Labour’s Central shortlist
- Butler quick to declare candidacy for Labour nomination
- Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source that is actually based in the heart of the borough – 267,670 page views Nov 2012-Apr 2013
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