Labour has all-BAME shortlist for South Norwood selection

WALTER CRONXITE has the runners and riders for Labour candidate selection in South Norwood

Labour Party members in South Norwood will choose their candidate for the ward by-election from an all-BAME short-list at a meeting on Saturday.

Tesfa Mehari: part of an all-BAME Labour shortlist in South Norwood

Ward officials selected Patsy Cummings, Tesfa Mehari, Felicity Triner and Brian Barclay as potential candidates to stand for Labour at the by-election, caused by the resignation earlier this month of Kathy Bee, as first reported by Inside Croydon.

South Norwood is regarded as a safe Labour ward in Croydon North, although it does include the area around Auckland Rise where local residents have been expressing their anger over the Labour council’s plans to allow in-fill building between their flats.

Jeremy Taylor, a Labour ward official, described the shortlist on social media by writing, “We are guaranteed a BAME Labour candidate in South Norwood. As this by election is likely to be won by Labour, we are going to have a BAME councillor representing South Norwood. Bearing in mind we currently have three councillors who are all white, I see the shortlist as wholly positive.”

Were South Norwood resident Dr Mehari to be selected, it is thought he could become the first local councillor in the country to come from an Eritrean background.

Jeremy Corbyn in Croydon with his election aide, Patsy Cummins (grey shirt) at his side. Photo: GRANT MELTON

Cummings worked on Jeremy Corbyn’s staff during the General Election. There have been claims today that Cummings, who ran for council election, unsuccessfully, in Fairfield ward in 2014, has been nominated by Momentum, the Corbyn supporters’ group, at a meeting over the weekend. But this has been denied by senior figures within the local party.

Indeed, it has been suggested that Clive Fraser, the chair of Croydon North constituency party, chose not to seek selection in order to give Cummings a better chance of selection. Fraser is seen as a supporter of Steve Reed OBE, the MP who is no fan of Corbyn.

“There was no shortage of people willing to move or second Patsy – some of whom are Momentum supporters, some are definitely not,” Taylor wrote.

“Patsy is there purely on merit and because of support from South Norwood members. I could also say that about the other three candidates who were also nominated, because they were moved and seconded on the basis of merit.”

The council announced the councillor vacancy last week, but has yet to set a date for the by-election, which is expected to be in early September.

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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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