Emily Benn, the granddaughter of former Labour government cabinet minister Tony Benn, seems set to be a Croydon councillor next year.
Norwood resident Emily Benn has been selected as a candidate to stand in the safe Labour ward of West Thornton, alongside sitting councillor Bernadette Khan and another new candidate for Croydon council, Stuart King, a former parliamentary candidate in Putney.
The three Labour candidates in West Thornton in 2010 each polled around 2,000 votes more than their nearest Tory challenger, so it would require an extraordinary swing to the Conservatives in that ward for Benn not to be elected to the Town Hall next May.
The trio was selected by local party members last week. Like King, Benn is also a former – or is that failed? – parliamentary candidate, having stood in the 2010 General Election in Worthing at 20 years old, making her the youngest Labour candidate at the election, having been selected in 2007, weeks before her 18th birthday.
But Benn’s selection does not indicate a shift to the left by the Labour party in Croydon. If anything, it is another indication of the “Lambeth-isation” of Croydon Labour, following the selection and election of Progress member Steve Reed OBE as Croydon North‘s MP last year.
Benn says that she is more like her uncle, Hilary Benn, the shadow local government spokesman, in being “a Benn, not a Bennite”.
Emily Benn claims to have been active in Labour politics since she was 14. Her mother, Nita Clarke, who received the OBE in last month’s Birthday Honours for “services to employee engagement and business”, is already a fixture in the Croydon Establishment, sitting on a governing body of the Whitgift Foundation.
Benn’s selection in West Thornton follows her applying to stand in a number of other wards, but withdrawing from the process, often after having been short-listed.
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