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Bob From Brockley @bobfrombrockley
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This is a thread on the Labour candidate selection for the upcoming #LewishamEast by-election (written by an embarrassingly inactive Lewisham Deptford party member)
Before getting to the candidates, a huge thank you to @Heidi_LDN for her years of excellent service to our community, as a Deptford councillor, Lewisham MP, battler to save Lewisham Hospital from Tory cuts, and Shadow Cabinet member.
So far, I believe five local candidates have put themselves forward for #LewishamEast Here they are, in alphabetical order:
1. @kevinbonavia is an experienced local councillor with a migrant background, who has worked on refugee issues - seen as a "centrist" contender
2. @Brenda_Dacres, another councillor, was a strong contender for Labour's mayoral candidate, a passionate campaigner with a strong local track record
3. @Joe_Dromey is also a local councillor with a strong local track record, who led Labour's pro-Remain campaign in Lewisham
4. @RachelOnikosi is another popular local party activist and councillor
5. @SakinaZS is a brand new councillor, seen as the Momentum candidate
Deputy member @JanetDaby has also been named as a possible, but I don't think that's confirmed.
As well as these local contenders, a number of other names have been put forward or put themselves forward. Here they are, again in alphabetical order:
1. @KatySClark is a close Corbyn associate from Scotland, out of parliament since 2015 and rumoured to be in the running, although as far as I know she hasn't put her hat in the ring.
2. @nadinehoughton1, a GMB official, was rumoured to be running, but @LabourList says she has been told not to as she is not BAME, while @theredroar has claimed she was a former Socialist Party member, although she is an doorstep active Labour member in neighbouring Southwark
3. @MsLadyPhyll is a TUC office and @ukblackpride founder who I have heard very good things about. She is a working class LGBT party member, with some Momentum endorsements
4. @sarahsackman, a @JewishLabour activist and former North London candidate, has been named by @LabourList as a possible contender, but seems like an extreme long shot to me
5. @ClaudiaWebbe is an Islington councillor, close Corbyn ally, NEC member and Ken Livingstone defender
Also @tomcopley (who lives in the constituency and whose birthday it is today) has been mentioned by @patrickmaguire & others as a possible, but appears to be ruling himself out
There have been a few contentious issues about the Lewisham East selection, and here are a couple of comments on that:
1. I think there's a strong case for an all-BME shortlist, even if it rules out some strong candidates. Altho Lewisham East is the whiter part of the borough, Lewisham is about half BME and it was embarrassing that all of our mayoral candidates but @DuwayneBrooks were white men.
I should add that the Labour Party webpage where candidates can apply does not mention an all-BME shortlist, though some non-BME candidates appear to have been told there'll be one. Seems a bit unfair that this isn't clear before candidates put themselves forward?
2. The case for an all-woman shortlist is more about the national representation gap than a local underrepresentation. Lewisham at the moment has three female MPs. Nationally, only 32% of MPs are women (bit better for among Labour MPs, 45% women).
3. The timescale for decision seems hasty, a bare 6 days from announcement I think, with nominations closing this Sunday noon (very quick for someone not part of a national party machine to fill in all the paperwork and build a case), shortlist on Mon, local party to vote on Wed
4. It is perfectly normal in by-elections for NEC to shortlist, but local activists (e.g. @iMcKenzied) are talking about a national stich-up to impose a leader-loyal candidate over a local one. See hashtag #memberleddemocracy & #membersneedasay
5. Lots of commentators talking up Lib Dems here. Tories are 2nd party in Lewisham East, with LD s only on 4% (tho LD peaked at 27% in 2010, before the Coalition made them toxic). The borough was 68% Remain, but East probably much less. I think a Lib Dem surge is a fantasy.
Note, though, that a stronger anti-Brexit candidates will neutralise any possibility of a Lib Dem surge, and that apparent imposition of a leadership crony without local support will strengthen it.
Finally, to pretend you're an expert too, read this by @clogsilk from 2015 on what Lewisham East is actually like as a constituency:…
Oh and this is who will apparently be shortlisting for #LewishamEast: @KateOsamor, @SarahOwen_ and new left NEC member @Yasmine_Dar

Stats goddess @clogsilk has updated her chart on Lewisham East voteshare, showing Labour's utterly impregnable lead and the unlikeliness of a Lib Dem challenge.
And @clog adds "Worth pointing out that far from gaining ground post-Brexit, the LD vote tanked even further. The Lewisham-wide remain vote isn’t a good guide to Lewisham East, UKIP have historically done well in Downham, Grove Park and Whitefoot."
You might be interested in the Lewisham East thread above
unroll this please
My thread on the #LewishamEast candidates and selection process, unrolled:…
Another Labour contender for the #LewishamEast candidacy, @mrtomwilletts, who I'm reliably told is "lovely":
And deputy mayor @janetdaby has declared she's standing for the #LewishamEast slot since I did the thread above
And here’s another possible #LewishamEast Labour candidate, @abenaopp, although I’m not sure she’s confirmed she’s standing:
It looks like the NEC might slow down the Lewisham East selection process in order to let CLP members have time to consider the shortlisted candidates:
The new Lewisham Momentum @LewMomentum (as opposed to the original Lewisham Momentum @lewishamforcor1) holding a meet & greet with the #LewishamEast candidates tomorrow at the Rivoli(which is in Lewisham Deptford)… Not sure if all the candidates are invited
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