Leading national figures from Momentum, the campaign group formed to support Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party, will be among those conducting the selection of Labour candidates for next year’s London Assembly elections.
Jon Lansman, Momentum’s founder and chair, will be one of three representatives from Labour’s governing national executive committee (NEC) and Emine Ibrahim, who is one of Momentum’s vice chairs, was among those elected to the committee from the party’s London region.
Also elected to the committee through the London region ballot were its new chair, Jim Kelly of the Unite union and Michelle Gordon of the GMB union. Jim Kennedy and Sarah Owen, both of whom represent Unite on the NEC, complete that body’s complement on the selection committee.
The committee line-up is a reflection of the recent capture of almost every position on the London regional board by the Left of the party in the capital and appears to substantiate the view that Corbynites are eager to establish a strong presence in the Labour Group, which currently holds 12 of the 25 Assembly seats, at next May’s Assembly elections.
Two of the nine sitting Labour constituency AMs have already announced that they will not be standing again and On London understands that up to three others may do the same. Those wishing to seek a further term at City Hall will have to reach a higher threshold than in the past in order to win so-called “trigger ballots” and automatically go forward as candidates for their seats in 2020.
New procedures are also being introduced for AMs elected on a “Londonwide” basis through a form of proportional representation. Two of Labour’s three current Londonwide AMs have said they will not be running next time and the region’s new rules are expected to give ordinary party members the key say in which order candidates are placed on the party’s list of candidates for Londonwide seats.
Taken together, the rule changes and the strength of the Left on the selection committee and among the capital’s 104 party members suggest that the prospects of hopefuls from the Left becoming Assembly candidates and members have improved. Ibrahim, who is deputy leader of Haringey’s “Corbyn Council”, was strongly involved in the successful campaign by Momentum and non-Labour allies to de-select sitting Labour councillors prior to last May’s borough elections, enabling the formation of a council Labour Group and leadership sympathetic to Corbyn’s stewardship of Labour nationally.
On London has approached Labour’s London region for full details of the Assembly candidate selection process.