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Lammy calls for probe into councillor deselections

LammyDavid Lammy today called for an investigation into the deselections of Black councillors across London. The Tottenham MPs comments come after three serving councillors were ditched in his own borough

Universities minister Lammy is the first Westminster politician to speak out over the growing numbers of local representatives being axed by constituency Labour parties.

Lammy told OBV Blog: ‘I am worried about deselections of sitting Black councillors around London, and we need to find out why this has happened.’

His remarks were welcomed by the non-partisan campaign organisation Operation Black Vote, which had expressed concern about deselections as long ago as July this year.

OBV director Simon Woolley said: ‘I’m pleased that a senior government Minister – David Lammy – has demanded an inquiry into what is becoming an ever increasing crisis within the London Labour party. This rate of deselections particularly of long serving experienced Black councillors questions the Party’s very commitment to diversity.‘

OBV Blog broke the news yesterday that Haringey frontbench councillor Brian Haley had been dumped as a candidate for the ward he has represented for the past 12 years. Two other BME Haringey councillors, Sheik Thompson and Jayanti Patel, have also been axed.

In Waltham Forest Labour suspended its proceedure for picking candidates to fight the next local elections, in May next year, after four serving BME councillors – including the borough’s first citizen, the mayor Anna Mbachu. One of the quartet, Milton Martin, has since defected to the Liberal Democrats.

In Lambeth, Betty Evans Jacas switched to the Conservatives, and in Enfield Denise Headley made the same journey after being prevented from standing again for Labour.

While in Barking and Dagenham, there is anger over the role of local MP Margaret Hodge over the deselections of councillors Emmanuel Obasohan – a former mayor – and Alok Agrawal.

By Lester Holloway

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3 Responses

  1. Any response from:

    The Leader and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party

    The Parliamentary Labour Party

    The Labour Party National Executive Committee

    The London Region of the Labour Party

    Are these actions likely to engender trust and confidence in the Labour Party, help to recruit new members and encourage people to vote for the Labour Party locally or nationally?

  2. Well done David Lammy MP. You have gone up significantly in my estimation. What about the other Labour MP’s are they not seeing and hearing the same things the rest of us are?

    I hope when it comes to being in the Polling booths at the next General and Local Council elections, voters remember those who bothered to respond to our concerns and those who totally ignored us.

  3. I’m very happy that Lammy has come out and said this.

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