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Labour fire starting gun in selection contest

Labour fired the starting gun for the contest to replace a retiring MP in London


Patrick Vernon (pictured), Afzal Akram, Ahmed Shahzad and Patrick Edwards are among the names in the frame to become MP for Leyton and Wanstead, following the decision of veteran MP Harry Cohen to step down amid a row about expenses.

Vernon is Hackney councillor whose ward borders the Leyton seat, is thought to be one of the frontrunners, while Akram is a leading Waltham Forest councillor, and businessman Shahzad runs BAME Labour, which represents Black members of the party.

Leyton and Wanstead is one of the most diverse constituencies in the country, where 40% of the population is non-white, and also one of Labour’s safer seats in the capital with a majority of 6,800.

There’s already been some disquiet about the candidature of a TV historian, Tristram Hunt, who is said to be a favourite of Labour’s high command.

However, being anointed by Westminster insiders can sometimes count against wannbe MPs, as local party members rebel and insist on their own choice.



2 Responses

  1. Get your facts right. Neither Vernon nor Akram is on the shortlist. In fact, they weren’t even interviewed on the long list! Go to the local paper and then correct your story!

    EDITOR WRITES: Have a look at the latest story on this site, which reports on the shortlist, decided last night! You are looking at the older story, written before the shortlist was decided!!

  2. The local paper, by the way, couldn’t get Rokhsana Fiaz’s name right, and was unnecessarily dismissive of Ahmed Shahzad.

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