Labour has announced its “list” candidates for next year’s London Assembly elections, and there is not a single figure associated with the council in Croydon included.As well as the 14 London Assembly Members elected from constituencies, a further 11 Assembly Members are elected from party lists to make the total members from each party proportional to the votes cast for that party across the whole of London.
In 2012, when the last London elections were held, Labour won eight constituency seats, topped up with four more Assembly Members from their list; the Tories won six constituencies, including Croydon and Sutton, and nabbed a further three AMs off the list. The Greens and LibDems swept up the other proportional places, getting two seats each from their London-wide lists.
The Tories have always held Croydon and Sutton since the London Assembly was founded in 2000, with Steve O’Connell seeking re-election in 2016 to add £55,000 per year to his allowances as a Croydon councillor. The quietly impressive Marina Ahmad, from the Kent side of the Bromley-Croydon boundary, has been selected as the Labour’s candidate to oppose O’Connell in the Croydon and Sutton constituency.
In September, Labour members voted for Sadiq Khan to be their candidate for London Mayor. Now, Labour has named 11 on the list, and two subs. Len Duvall must reckon he’s Arsene Wenger…
All organised in apparently politically correct girl-boy-girl-boy order, the list is:
- Fiona Twycross
- Tom Copley
- Nicky Gavron
- Murad Qureshi
- Alison Moore
- Preston Tabois
- Feryal Demirci
- Mike Katz
- Emily Brothers
- Bevan Powell
- Lisa Homan
Reserves: Sara Hyde and Bassam Mahfouz
Duval, the AM for Greenwich and Lewisham and the chairman of the London Labour Regional Board, said: “This is an exceptional list of candidates full of talent and experience. It’s also a list that reflects London in terms of women, BAME and LGBT candidates. It’s the strongest team we’ve ever had to represent Londoners across our city, and work with Sadiq Khan leading the campaign in London up to May.”
Those with long memories, or nothing better to do with their time, might have noticed that Nicky Gavron and Murad Qureshi have slipped from the ultra-secure top-two slots on the list, where they were in 2012, to Nos 3 and 4 – suggesting that they might be expected to work just a little harder around the city to ensure that they get the Labour vote out to hold on to their proportionally determined Assembly seats.
Ninth on the list, and therefore with very little chance of adding the letters AM to her name next May, is Emily Brothers, the disability and gender equality campaigner who stood in the Sutton and Cheam parliamentary constituency at the General Election, but was unsuccessful when she sought selection for the Croydon and Sutton Assembly seat.
“I look forward to campaigning across London to get Sadiq Khan elected as our next Mayor and secure more Assembly seats,” said Brothers, who is blind and transgender. “It is only a Labour administration that can create economic growth, tackle the housing crisis, deliver more affordable and effective public transport, meet modern policing challenges and broker a better deal for Londoners.”The absence of any figures from Croydon’s Labour council, either on the shortlist for the constituency or among the list candidates, ought to be of some concern to Tony Newman, the council leader, and his Town Hall colleagues. Does it reflect a paucity in political talent among his 40 borough councillors?
Louisa Woodley, one of Newman’s cabinet members at the Town Hall, having achieved the best Assembly election results for Labour in Croydon and Sutton in 2012, did not step forward this time round, while Sarah Jones, the losing candidate in Croydon Central at the General Election, is still bruised from that experience, and none of the 2014 Town Hall intake were ready.
Or is the absence of Croydon Town Hall figures from the selections because of the local party’s lack of influence within the Labour Party at regional and national levels? After all, when the Tories unveiled their list, it included Jonny Cope, a cheerleader for MP Gavin Barwell who has never come close to winning any elected office. In Cope’s case, Barwell was thought to have “put in a good word”. Was Croydon’s Progress MP, Steve Reed OBE, unwilling to do the same for any of the borough’s Labour councillors?
Previous London Mayoral and Assembly selection coverage:
- Barwell fan Cope is named as Tories’ 12th man on London list
- Goldsmith selection pits Old Etonian against bus driver’s son
- Snubbed again, McKenzie fails to make UKIP’s first XI
- #WadGate Fisher gets rejected again, this time in Bromley
- Greens pick Addiscombe’s Hague as their Assembly candidate
- Inside Croydon Events: for dates and links to what’s happening in and around Croydon, updated daily
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