The London London Party has emailed its members seeking applicants to contest two London Assembly constituencies on 7 May after one sitting Assembly Member and one shortlisted contender for another Assembly seat became Members of Parliament on 12 December.
Florence Eshalomi, the current AM for Lambeth & Southwark, was automatically reselected to defend her seat, but will now stand down in May following her election as the new MP for Vauxhall last month, and Islington councillor Claudia Webbe, who was on a shortlist of two for selection for the North East seat, has become MP for Leicester East.
This means a shortlist for members and affiliated organisations to choose from will need to be drawn up to find a successor candidate to Eshalomi, and it appears that Labour’s London region does not want the remaining current shortlisted contender for North East, Hackney councillor Sem Moema, to be elected unopposed as the candidate to succeeded Jennette Arnold, who will be standing down.
The deadline for applications to be considered as candidates is midnight tomorrow, 5 January. On London has been told that the email was received by all Labour members in the capital yesterday.
The email says: “Following the general election and the election of some excellent Labour women to Parliament, the London Labour Party are looking for candidates to apply to be an Assembly Member in Lambeth 7 Southwark and the North East in the GLA [Greater London Authority] elections in May”.
It adds that prospective candidates must have been members of the party “since March 26, 2018 and a member of a Trade Union”. An application form was attached to the email.
Both Lambeth & Southwark and North East, which comprises the boroughs of Islington, Hackney and Waltham Forest, have been safe Labour seats since their creation in 2000. The shortlist for the latter will be women only.
The original timetable for selecting Labour constituency AM candidates for seats the party does not presently hold or in which sitting AMs are standing down was abandoned due to the general election being called. That process and the one for deciding the order in which candidates to become Londonwide AMs, elected by proportional representation, will be listed is expected to resume soon.
The Conservatives, the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats all chose their candidates for the Assembly last year, though one of the Tories, Ben Seifert, who was to contest North East, resigned from the party over its approach to Brexit and another, Joy Morrissey, has become MP for Beaconsfield. The Conservatives will be advertising for replacement candidates on 8 January.
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