CROYDON LABOUR IN CRISIS: Some fear it is a case of out of the frying pan into the fire with the imposed election candidate in South Norwood. By our political editor, WALTER CRONXITE
The Local Campaign Forum, the committee at the centre of controversy for its bungled handling of Croydon Labour’s candidate selection process, is withholding the identity of the candidate it wants to impose on the people of South Norwood… while they check on a raft of recently deleted tweets.
Christopher Herman was selected last night at a somewhat perfunctory LCF meeting, which excluded Labour members in the ward from having any say in the choice of person to represent them at the Town Hall elections being held on May 5.
With the election candidate declaration deadlines looming, the crisis-hit LCF needed to replace 24-year-old Elliott-Jay Munroop, who had withdrawn on Friday.
This website revealed last week that, not for the first time, Joel “Bodger” Bodmer, the chair of the LCF, and his committee had failed to conduct any proper checks on one of their “approved” candidates.
The LCF, meaning the Steve Reed flunkies Bodger and fellow party official Nuala O’Neill, cobbled together a short-list from those on the approved candidates’ list who responded to a hurried appeal put out on Saturday.
For some of those approached, with the prospect of a candidacy in a usually safe Labour ward, it was a last-gasp chance to preserve their status as a councillor.
“The dregs,” was how the short-list was described by one Katharine Street source.
On the list alongside Herman were current sitting councillors who had failed to get re-selected in the wards they have been supposed to represent: Ollie “Shitshow” Lewis, the cabinet member responsible for closing libraries, shutting the Purley leisure centre and overseeing the fiasco of the Fairfield Halls, and “Silent” Mary Croos, who has an impressive collection of selfies, but little else to show for her four years as a councillor.
According to several sources, also on the LCF’s South Norwood short-list was Safwan Choudhury, who had done so much to help his father, Sherwan Choudhury, finally get selected in a safe Labour ward in Broad Green, plus ever-hopeful ex-councillor Raj Rajendran, Femi Yusoof and Coulsdon resident and rugger enthusiast Stuart Brady.
“That’s what scraping the bottom of the barrel looks like after it has already been scraped two or three times,” according to one senior source in the local Labour Party.
Herman was the only short-listed candidate who actually lives in South Norwood. It is thought to be to only ward in which he had sought selection when the LCF’s creaking and crisis-hit process got underway six months ago.
Herman is also known to be an obedient member of the Steve Reed fan club.
Yesterday’s LCF meeting to conduct the rushed selection is the only time that Bodger has called together the committee since February.
“It was six o’clock on the evening of Mother’s Day, and there wasn’t much appetite among members to conduct any other business other than the most pressing issue at hand,” one source said.
The LCF has immediately hit a snag, however, and it has delayed making any announcement of the replacement candidate’s identity.
Herman, who says he “mostly tweet sober” (sic), is away on holiday, although that has not stopped him deleting vast swathes of his own Twitter history in the last 24 hours, suggesting that he, too, might have posted material that is less-than-wholesome.
Read more: Labour candidate in South Norwood quits over abusive tweets
Read more: No apology from candidate for abusive and homophobic tweets
Read more: Campaign disarray as Broad Green candidate is de-selected
Read more: ‘It’s an utter joke’: councillors unhappy at selection stitch-ups
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