Labour’s NEC imposes selection shortlist on Croydon East

WALTER CRONXITE, political editor, on the latest twist in local Labour’s long-running psycho-drama

No one’s choice: Joel Bodmer is thought unlikely to have survived any selection process involving local members who have witnessed him operate

The Labour Party underscored its anti-democratic approach to candidate selection last night when its national ruling body imposed its own shortlist for the new constituency of Croydon East.

The four candidates who were long-listed last week – chosen by an unelected committee of unidentified officials from Labour’s London Region and the NEC, the National Executive Committee – have all been put through to the short list.

They are Olga Fitzroy, a councillor in Lambeth with a reputation for organising successful national campaigns in the music industry, Natasha Irons, a Merton councillor, Johnson Situ, a former Southwark councillor who now works for London Mayor Sadiq Khan, and Joel “Bodger” Bodmer, who has never been elected to any public office.

The four long-listed candidates were advised early yesterday evening that today’s short-listing meeting was cancelled, with an email from an official stating that “The NEC have decided today that the candidates that were long listed for Croydon East… can go through to the Shortlist without the need for interviews.

“Emails will be sent to members to advise them.” Which is nice…

The shortlisting meeting, involving a round of interviews by a panel of Croydon East members, was supposed to take place today.

The Croydon Labour Party has been under “special measures” for almost three years, since council leader Tony Newman and his numpties bankrupted the borough.

Newman and his former cabinet member for finance, Simon Hall, have been under administrative suspension from the Labour Party since early 2021 for their part in Croydon Council’s financial collapse. It is possible that, belatedly, their conduct over some of the dodgier deals conducted when they were in charge of the Town Hall, such as the council’s purchase of the Croydon Park Hotel, is subject to a police investigation.

The new Croydon East Constituency Labour Party has not yet staged its first members’ meeting and members have so far been denied the opportunity to democratically elect their local officials. The selection of the parliamentary candidate, however, is being pushed through.

On a mission: just months after Labour had crashed the council’s finances, Bodmer ran a leaflet campaign featuring burning money

Croydon East is part of a parliamentary boundary reorganisation, which will see Croydon have four MPs after the next General Election, up from the current three.

Made up of bits of the previously marginal Croydon Central and parts of Tory stronghold Croydon South, pollsters at Electoral Calculus reckon that Labout has a 98% chance of winning the seat.

So when it comes to the General Election sometime in the next 12 months, it won’t be the voters in Croydon East who pick their MP. That task will have already been carried out in a drab room at Ruskin House in two weeks’ time by 150 or so (maybe fewer) Labour Party members at the selection meeting. Whoever is lucky enough to be selected that day is likely to have a job in Parliament for life.

Many members suspect that the Labour Party machine has been trying to fix the selection to present Bodmer with the prize of a lifetime.

Bodmer is a close associate of Croydon North MP Steve Reed and widely acknowledged as the worst chair in the history of Croydon Labour’s Local Campaign Forum.

It is Bodger who is blamed for the disastrous Labour anti-mayor campaign in 2021 and for losing the mayoralty for Val Shawcross in 2022. An internal Croydon Labour report on the handling of those campaigns was completed 12 months ago and is said to be highly critical of Bodger’s part as chair of the LCF.

But the report has been withheld from members ahead of the selections.

“London Region don’t want the report published,” a Town Hall source told Inside Croydon.

“They view Croydon Labour as a basket case and publication would mean further embarrassment for the party.

“The report would reflect particularly poorly on whoever was chair of the Local Campaign Forum at the time – Joel Bodmer.

“And with Joel seeking selection as Labour’s parliamentary candidate in Croydon East, the last thing anyone who is trying to stich up the selection for Joel would want is local party members reading a report about the LCF’s incompetence and failures under his chairmanship.”

Another disgruntled member said: “We’re losing members every day, as people resign from the party over the conduct of Starmer, Steve Reed and the leadership over the Gaza genocide.

“Now, some are considering sending in their resignations over the mishandling of the Croydon East selection… No one wants Joel Bodmer as their candidate. Yet all the signs are that they are smoothing the way for him.”

Read more: The fix is in: Labour excludes members from Croydon selection
Read more: Bodger’s back! Reed’s chum being lined up for Croydon East
Read more: #TheLabourFiles: MP Reed, Evans and the Croydon connection

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6 Responses to Labour’s NEC imposes selection shortlist on Croydon East

  1. Susan Peters says:

    A bunch of people outside of Croydon have been foisted upon our borough by Steve Reed MP as Labour candidates. The common thread, like Reed himself, is that they are all underperforming, compliant ass-lickers who are no more than the same old crap local politicians who we have to put up with in Croydon.

    Can Reed not keep his fucking nose out of candidate selection?

    • Ahmed Y says:

      I couldnve put it any better myself!

    • Adam says:

      Can Reed not keep his fucking nose out of candidate selection?

      No he can’t. The only time when he keeps his f*cking nose out, wait. . .I mean his entire body out of Croydon is when a bunch of constituents wants to meet him.

  2. Ahmed Y says:

    This is a total stitch-up by the London region on behest of Reed. First we had Tony Newman & his kaputs imposed on us locally. Now Reed is creating dynastic politics by pulling all levers to get Bodmer elected. Who permitted Bonner-Hanson to conduct such a sham process. Same olle Bull shit. The sooner the members see through Reed’s nassarcist ambitions for being the Labour’s Godfather, the better it will be for ordinary members. We need a wholesale clearout and get back to non-nepotism politics where the most competant is elected.

    A reminder to Reed: Newman too was once a Teflon Soprano.

  3. Shaista Nazimabadi says:

    Steve Reed wants another minion imposed on us. I am restricting my profanity that is usually reserved for Steve Reed in light of this divine quote from Leviticus 22:9:

    “They must keep my instruction, or they will be guilty and die because they profane it; I am the LORD who sets them apart.”

    Steve Reed, being the ‘Machiavellian Baron of Croydon’ wants complete subservience from his chosen one aka J Bodmer. Together they are planning to rule the Kingdom of Crai-din from CR0 – CR7. I urge the labour members to vote carefully and recollect what happened last time when Labour CLPs were hijacked by the region.

    Score card so far:
    Sarah Jones – 4/10
    Steve Reed – √-1

    Alas how low we have fallen!

  4. Ian Kierans says:

    Generally we as voters mostly do not know about political inner workings and it is thanks to Media outlets like IC and private eye that we do and can voice an opinon.

    But most of us do not care. We are either disillusioned with what goes on or are just too busy making a living either to survive, climb out of dependency for ourselves and family and our childrens future. T

    That is the same for all political parties.

    Should that change and representative be truly representative? Yes of course it should but there are reasons for that method and it came about for good reason. Like al good processes it can be corrupted. Does not meen the process is wrong – just the controls

    Mr Bodmer has undoubtedly been very active in Labour circles and perhaps this is his reward. Yes he along with most of the local Labout party campaigned to not have a Mayor. Looking at what got the job, many would say they were right.

    Others would blame them for sabotaging Ms Shawcross and there is evidence more so to that from the election results.
    But many voter for Perry and thats what we got for those reasons.

    Many are leaving political parties all the time for many individual reasons. some because they were wronged or lost faith in those that are elected.

    That is the wrong reason unless they go to a party that does match their beliefs. For they lose their voice. Its like cutting off your tongue because it was not listened to by others ears. The only one to lose out is yourself.

    Because there is one sure reality.
    We as a Community voted for Fisher, Newman, who caused with Pickles our predicament.
    We voted for Reed, and Jones, who some do not like but a lot of others do.
    We voted for Philp also who some obviously like and gives a laugh for others who may not.

    We voted for quite a number of Conservative Councillors
    We voted for even more Labour Councillors
    And recently (perhaps due to what happened) we as a Community voted for two Green party councillors and a Liberal Democrat Councillor.

    We lost a few good ones like Andrew (Labour) (Pollard Conservative) and failed to vote enough for a third Green Peter. I suspect some surprise at my mentioning Tim but he did good work and over a long period and that should be recognised. We lost a few good ones from both parties who I have not mentioned and no slight is intended.

    I personally believe Peter and Andrew would be of great benefit to the borough even if not of the same mind on some things you can respect what they can bring and the benefit of having their voice and thoughts.

    But we are in a party system and its first past the post. Until that changes – the party decides who they think is best.

    But consider this if you do not like what is being done locally – then join the party that you feel is close to what you believe and want.
    Go to meetings. Vote for those you want to manage that CF ensure they vote for the NEC member or whatever is the body of that party that takes the decisions of candidates. Make sure that the process has the right controls and people in place. Ansd if you do not like something foisted on you, vote for someone else at the next annual meeting.And bring wrongs out into the light so we all can see and assist with those changes for the better

    Thats the great thing about this country – we have the right to choose. (still )
    We should not vote blindly in ignorance but with knowledge and information.
    As there is always one caveat though, ”be careful what you choose”.

    And we should know that by now better than most other areas of the Country!

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