If Sadiq Khan was going to face resistance of much significance to his automatic re-selection as Labour’s mayoral candidate for the 2024 election it was perhaps going to have to come from party members in the parliamentary constituency of Islington North.
Media kites have been flying about the seat’s MP, former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, running for City Hall as an Independent – having had the Labour parliamentary whip removed there would be nothing to stop him.
However, judging by the outcome of last Wednesday’s Islington North “trigger ballot”, support for a mayoral bid by the man who three years ago steered Labour to one of its worst ever general election defeats might be limited even in his own backyard.
According to an email sent by its secretary to “all Islington North CLP members” on Friday, 59 members attended an online meeting to discuss whether to give Khan an immediate green light to seek a third term or to require him to face challenges from other potential candidates in an open selection contest.
Attached was a breakdown of votes cast: 29 members wanted the sitting Mayor to be re-selected unopposed, compared with 15 who didn’t. Four abstentions were recorded and the preferences of the other 11 attendees were not recorded.
A comfortable win in percentage terms, then, for the sitting Mayor in the very heart of Corbyn country, although the number of members who took part appears to have been but a small fraction of those who could have – Labour’s Islington North’s web page says has “over 4,000 members“.
But if the level of participation is taken to indicate considerable indifference to the London mayoralty, its result may points to even less excitement about the thought of a Corbyn mayoral challenge.
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