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Nosegbe ahead in Labour race

Florence-Nosegbe-USE1South London could have two new black MPs if Florence Nosegbe stays ahead of her rivals to become Labour’s parliamentary candidate for the Lewisham East

Nosegbe, 28, hopes to follow in the footsteps of Chuka Umunna, 30, who is busy winning over voters in Streatham since getting selected for the seat last year.

A Lambeth councillor for Brixton Hill since 2006, Nosegbe is believed to be the favourite in the race to replace Labour MP Bridget Prentice, who is standing down at the next general election.

An insider told OBV Blog that she had been nominated by six out of the seven wards and the three big trades unions in an internal contest – an all-women shortlist – that will be decided on 3rd October.

Running: Mandy Richards

Running: Mandy Richards

Her nearest challenger is understood to be Lewisham councillor Heidi Alexander. Mandy Richards, an activist with Hackney North and Stoke Newington Labour, is also running.

Whoever wins the Labour nomination will face stiff competition from a resurgent Liberal Democrats, who have 12 of the 21 council seats in the constituency.

Pete Pattisson already selected for the Lib Dems, while Jonathon Clamp, a BT manager and councillor in Kensington and Chelsea councillor, is the Conservative choice.

The seat has a high African and Caribbean population. If Nosegbe becomes Labour’s candidate she will be well placed to persuade disillusioned residents to get out and vote, as well as inspire the whole population.

Interviewed by a Lambeth magazine last year, Nosegbe said: ‘From when I was at school I had been active in my local community and had dealt with the council on various issues ranging from housing to anti-social behaviour.’

She was an ambassador for the Become a Councillor campaign, and told their website: ‘I’m determined the next generation shouldn’t face the same problems we did. I think it’s right that I put something back. That’s why I got involved.

‘I enjoyed studying Politics and Law for my A-Levels and at University and learning more about how politics is connected with almost everything we do in life and how powerful the political process really is.

‘I have witnessed first hand the way the most disadvantaged people in our community are often treated so badly when all they really want is the opportunity to be able to get out of poverty and better themselves.’

Nosegbe travelled to Ohio in the United States last year to campaign for Barack Obama, and lists Ken Saro-Wiwa and Steve Biko as her heroes.

Look out for an interview with Nosegbe here in the next few days.

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