Labour panel rejects another supporter of DEMOC campaign

CROYDON IN CRISIS: The purge continues against those who dare to consider that there might be another way of running the council.
EXCLUSIVE by STEVEN DOWNES

Officials overseeing the applications of Labour members who still want to be candidates for next May’s Town Hall elections have blocked a second potential contender who supports the move to the borough having a directly elected mayor, Inside Croydon has learned.

After nearly eight years in charge of the Town Hall, in which time they have overseen the collapse of the Westfield redevelopment, children’s services failing an Ofsted inspection, the £70million Fairfield Halls “fiasco” (© The Stage), the Brick by Brick disaster and the bankruptcy of the borough, Croydon Labour is – perhaps unsurprisingly – struggling to attract a decent number of people prepared to stand for election in 2022.

Yet the party’s officials are being very picky when it comes to Croydon Labour members who don’t subscribe to their leadership’s  Groupthink over the thorny issue of a directly elected mayor and the possible end to the gravy train they have enjoyed under the so-called “strong leader” system.

Yesterday, we revealed that Jamie Audsley, a Croydon councillor for the past seven years,  had had his application turned down by an interview panel because he was judged not to have been open enough about his support for a directly elected mayor.

Audsley’s less-than-opaque conduct includes organising online discussions arguing for a change in the way the council is run, and for being one of the founders of a social media group that’s called “Croydon Labour for a Mayor”.

Perhaps that’s not obvious enough for the rump of “Newman’s numpties”, members of the discredited ex-leader’s cabal who still carry significant influence within the Town Hall Labour group.

Ranil Perera: not good enough for Croydon Labour

News has now reached Inside Croydon Towers that another supporter of the directly elected mayor of Crydon campaign, DEMOC, Ranil Perera, has also been rejected at the panel interview stage.

By any reasonable assessment, Perera might seem like an ideal candidate for a modern political party in a diverse London borough with deeply ingrained social issues and massive financial problems. He is from a minority ethnic background, holds university degrees from Imperial College and Cambridge, has an impressive record of years of public service (he is a trustee of the Croydon Merton and Sutton Credit Union), and professional qualifications and experience working in financial regulation.

But that’s not good enough for the Croydon Labour selection panel,  who suggested that Perera did not know enough about the running of the council to be a suitable candidate to become a councillor.

This is the same Ranil Perera who, in 2018, went through a very similar selection process and was put forward as the official Labour Party candidate in his home ward of Park Hill and Whitgift. Perhaps in the intervening three years, Ranil Perera’s understanding of how a local authority operates has deteriorated… a bit like the council’s finances?

Or might there be another reason for Perera being excluded from the selection process at this stage?

The Labour leadership at The Town Hall, including Alison Butler, Paul Scott, Stuart Collins and Clive “Thirsty” Fraser – all card-carrying members of Tony Newman’s old clique – decided last month that their party’s councillors should be forbidden from campaigning for a directly elected mayor.

This despite their having conducted a “consultation” of party members in which a (narrow) majority said that they preferred the council to be run by a directly elected mayor.

There is a borough-wide referendum being held on October 7 to offer residents the choice between the “strong leader” system of governance, or switching to the #ABitLessShit option of a directly elected mayor.

Read more: Poor turn-out shows disenchantment with local Labour Party
Read more: Officials to investigate possible wrong-doing at council
Read more: Leader’s office forced Labour mayors to pull out of meeting


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About insidecroydon

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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8 Responses to Labour panel rejects another supporter of DEMOC campaign

  1. It seems a bit rich to tell a highly-qualified candidate that he does not know enough about running a Council, when those running the Council have not got a clue.

    It would be good if a selection of high-calibre candidates could stand as Independents for Croydon.

  2. mikebweb says:

    This seems to prove to me that LABOUR, as we know them now, have no right to be in power in the Town Hall and should certainly not be re-elected, when the time comes.

  3. Who are these officials that are making these decisions? What are their names? Who appointed them? To whom are they accountable?

    I think we should be told

    • Panels normally comprise three experienced and senior councillors from other London boroughs. They are hand-picked by Labour’s Blairite-dominated London Region. On Saturday, there will be five such panels in operation.

      It is not unknown for a panel to receive a visit from a senior figure from the Croydon leadership in the minutes immediately before they were due to interview a particular candidate. This was witnessed by one of Inside Croydon’s sources in 2017, when Tony Newman himself was roaming around Ruskin House, briefing his mates from Region. The unfortunate potential candidate who’d clearly had his card marked later reported being asked the same thing five times: would they obey the party whip?

  4. Ian Kierans says:

    And therein lies the corruption of party politics, and whose gang on the day is bigger.

    When the Electorate stop being manipulated like sheep by them and us ideologies and make independent decisions based on fact and not orders, or ”whips”, is when we will have democracy and less corruption in all hues of politics

  5. Croydon Labour is dumping all over itself. Explains why the borough is in the state it’s in.

  6. Patrick Ratnaraja says:

    Excellent candidates are a threat to some incompetent leaders. This happens in recruitment as well. They don’t like it if you are too good or at least appear to be good.

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