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CLPD recommends first preference for Diane Abbott, second for Sadiq Khan

Diane for MayorThe London Labour Party is selecting its candidate to fight next May’s London Mayoral election. The ballot will take place alongside the leadership contest, from 14 August to 10 September. The position of London Mayor has important powers in the areas of transport, fire services, planning, policing and the environment. The Mayor also champions the interests of London with a significant campaigning platform. So London Labour is selecting someone to run and improve the capital’s services, who will speak up for London and challenge Tory policies.

The Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD) is wholeheartedly backing Diane Abbott as the main centre-left candidate in this contest. She opposes the government’s austerity proposals and is one the few Labour MPs who voted against the Tories’ Budget Responsibility Charter which requires a further £30bn cut to public services.

Diane is a long standing campaigner for greater democracy within the Labour Party. In 1987 she became the first black woman to be elected to Parliament. She opposes attempts to scapegoat migrants and voted against Tony Blair taking Britain to war in Iraq. If elected Mayor Diane intends to offer real solutions to Londoners’ cost of living crisis; genuinely affordable housing, rent controls, a fares freeze, extension of the living wage and will take action on climate change.

Sadiq Khan is a former Minister and Shadow Minister. He is a Fabian and human rights lawyer. In 2005 he became the first Muslim MP elected in London. Like Diane, he proposes to freeze fares, to extend the living wage, promote affordable housing, a London living rent and fight for powers to limit rent increases.

Both Diane and Sadiq opposed Blair’s proposal to introduce 90 day detention without trial.

The principle right-wing candidate in the contest is Tessa Jowell. Offering London a similar political approach as Liz Kendall’s platform in the leadership election, Tessa is promoted by the Tory-supporting Evening Standard. Tessa is famous for saying she would jump in front of a bus for Tony Blair. So not surprisingly, Tessa supported the war in Iraq, privatisation and the ending of free higher education. She deregulated the media and tried to introduce super-casinos. Since the 2005 Gambling Act, that Tessa fought to get through parliament, addictive gambling has hugely increased, sucking cash out of poor communities.

Tessa Jowell has a well-resourced campaign, but grand sounding slogans masking meagre content will be insufficient for Labour to win next year. Tessa’s pledge to establish an agency ‘Homes for Londoners’ appears to be the re-badging of Boris Johnson’s ‘Homes for London’. Property developers would benefit from Transport for London’s stock of public land but London’s shortage of affordable homes will not be seriously addressed. Tessa’s criticism of Labour’s rent control policy immediately prior to the general election was welcomed by the property industry.

A Blairite is not best placed to help Labour in London. While Tony Blair was Prime Minister Labour lost more than half a million votes in London at general elections. Since his departure Labour has won an extra 400,000 votes. The Tories will likely select Zac Goldsmith, who has Lynton Crosby advising him. If Labour puts forward weak Tory-lite proposals its campaign risks being torn to pieces.

To win Labour should offer a robust attractive alternative that challenges the Tories. Next May’s election is by ‘supplementary vote’, so Labour should choose an independent minded candidate who can attract the second preference votes from supporters of the Greens and other parties. Diane Abbott is the candidate most able to do that.

The London Labour selection this summer, as with the leadership contest, is decided by an ‘alternative vote’ ballot, where you rank candidates in order of preference. The Campaign for Labour Party Democracy is recommending London members and supporters give their first preference vote to Diane Abbott and their second to Sadiq Khan.

2 Comments

  1. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

    I note and with much cynicism that several perfectly valid comments; highly critical of Labor that were posted here yesterday, have now been deleted.

    A reaction to criticism that has become increasingly characteristic and typical of the post the Blair labor party.

    “We’re not listening, we’re not listening, we’re not listening………………………

  2. John P Reid says:

    I die t think I’d ev defend Jowell,but she’s not Kendall, and saying she’s is isn’t a bad thing, isn’t Livingstone CLPD I know he does this backing non labour people, but puts it in small letters, he’s backing Sadiq for his first choice, maybe he’s put the Diane bit in small letters.

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