Tuesday, 10 September 2013

An update on runners in the Brent Central race

Sarah Teather's decision not to stand again seems to have breathed new life into the Brent Central election battle. Some local Liberal Democrats are firmly of the opinion that their candidate should be a woman while, intervening from Sutton, Lester Holloway has claimed the candidate should be of African or Caribbean background. Apparently he hasn't ruled himself out! A BAME criterion would have suited Cllr James Allie who was on the list of approved Liberal  Democrat candidates and the only Black Lib Dem councillor- unfortunately he crossed the Council Chamber floor and joined Labour. As if to forestall any thoughts that Allie may have of changing horses again, Cllr Jim Moher writes in The Voice that James is very much at home with Labour LINK

Moher, who some say played a king maker role in Muhammed Butt's election as Labour Group leader, strongly promotes Dawn Butler as Labour's Brent Central candidate in  his Voice article. Muahmmed Butt told me last night that, despite rumours to the contrary, he was not going  for the nomination.

Among other possible Labour contenders Sabina Khan is still in the running but has also been interested in Ealing. Sabina emphasises her credentials as a business woman and entrepreneur and yesterday posted an article on Energy on the Progress website LINK

Cllr Zaffar van Kalwala made a grandstanding speech about Sarah Teather at the Brent Council meeting last night to a mixture of applause and derision indicating that his hat was firmly in the ring and capable of performing some dazzling tricks. Kalwala has been active on the Harlesden Incinerator campaign but has perhaps not had as much active support on protests and demonstrations from party colleagues as he deserved.

Butler, who was tainted by the  expenses scandal, is joined by two other former MPs with similar issues. Tony McNulty, former MP for Harrow East and a government minister is married to Christine Gilbert, Brent Council's acting Chief Executive, whose tenure was recently extended until after the 2014 council elections. He resigned from his ministerial post over expenses allegations.

Parmijit Dhanda, former MP for Gloucester is also mentioned as a possible candidate. Dhanda had to pay back over £1,800 in overpaid mortgage expenses. The latter has a rightwing record having voted for replacement of Trident, ID cards, tuition frees and anti-terrorism laws and against an inquiry into the Iraq War.

A more left alternative is offered by Mike Buckley who is North London representative for the Christian Socialist Movement LINK. He is said to be an admirer of John Cruddas, is against imperialist wars and has worked for Islamic Relief.

Dr Sundar Thava, an NHS doctor, worked with the military in Iraq and Afghanistan and spoke recently at the Labour Party meeting on Syria and you can read what he had to say on this  blog HERE

Patrick Vernon has been continuing to cultivate the grassroots with vigour and his work on Windrush Day and health issues has been prominent. However his campaigning blog 'Patrick Vernon for Brent Central' lags way behind his activities and is not kept up to date. LINK

Further down the list is Camden councillor Mike Katz whose credibility has been dented by his de-selection as a council candidate for 2014.. Richard Osley of the Camden New Journal described his as 'cast as a New Labour eagle in a nest of lefty voices'. LINK Katz blogs HERE

Another name mentioned to me is Dan McCurry who writes regularly for LabourUncut. His main claim to fame is leading the Labour fightback against Respect in East London with the slogan 'Vote for Us or Get George' which managed to keep the council in Labour hands. He often expresses frustration at Labour's current failure to fight the Coalition with sufficient energy and aggression.  McCurry's Blog

Rumour has it that there are up to 38 candidates with perhaps more expected following Teather's decision not to stand again. With these numbers I don't have all the names so anyone wanting to contribute any more information is welcome to send it on.

As I remarked on Twitter with more runners than the Grand National in the Brent Central Labur contest there are likely to be some broken legs!

The election for a candidate is expected to take place in October.

PS The Greens are biding their time...


Anonymous said...

Are you running Martin?

Martin Francis said...

Being the Green Party we go through an exhaustive selection procedure. The shortlist for all our elections always contains RON (re-open nominations) so no predictions.

Anonymous said...

Dan McCurry blogs regularly with some pretty unpleasant views. He favours the expansion of Heathrow. In one particularly obnoxious post, he objects to the decommissioning of cluster bombs http://labourlist.org/2009/07/decommissioning-cluster-bombs-is-barking-mad/.

Anonymous said...

Brent Central can have Dawn Butler - she was a dreadful MP - Thank God we have been spared in Hampstead and Kilburn.

Anonymous said...

why dont dhanda butler and mcnulty split the job three ways ? that would be six homes requiring running costs ... a nice deal all round . kalwala is all about the self promotion . the dr and buckley sound promising .

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the Lib Dems will actually run a candidate - watched them at Council meeting on Monday and they are in total denial about being in government

trevor said...

its not about or should not be about nationality or gender.
whoever wins must be a person who is morally inspired with the desire to do all that he/she is able for the good of the people he/she represents.
also someone that recognizes the need for serious changes in society and the way it operates.
recognizing also how the putting of profit above principle has seriously damaged society and corrupted it Too.
the current government have made changes because of the debt problem
but what about the problem of tobacco addiction?
that has been growing for years and people have been dying as a result of that addiction for years and yet the way the British government(s) Have dealt with it is very different compared to the way they are dealing with the debt crisis.
it gives the impression that money is more important to them than protecting the people they are meant to be serving?
any Truly caring responsible government would not allow people to use something like tobacco as a means to make a living when it seriously damages health and ruins lives.
an estimated 100,000 people die every year from smoking related diseases
and it remains the biggest cause of preventable death.
That is what happens when governments are driven by greed rather than principle.
and yet for all its desire for money
it has managed the economy extremely badly and the previous labour government that came in claiming that things could only get better
actually left the economy in an even worser state.
and even when smoking adds an estimated £5 billion each year to the cost of running The NHS
they decided it is better to force the victims to abuse themselves out in the open air and when they finish they drop the butts all over the place along with the empty boxes.
we need someone that will stand up and say enough is enough
we cannot be allowing this kind of thing to continue.
we need a change.
it is oh so important.
race and gender don't mean a thing...it's what's in a person's heart that matters.

Mike Katz said...

Martin - it's always nice to get a mention, but rather than rely on second-hand comments crafted to fit a particular local news story, I'm sure people would prefer to read and judge my political views and stance for themselves.

They can do so on my blog - www.mikekatz.org - and through my Twitter feed - @mikekatz; and I've also blogged on ward issues at www.kilburnrose.com. Feel free to update your piece with a link!


Andrea said...

Kate Osamor? She appeared as the Unite backed candidate for Brent Central in their leaked document about Labour selections

Martin Francis said...

Yes, she was on the leaked list back in July and appeared to be backed by a group around Ken Livingstone but things seem to have gone quiet around her nomination and she hasn't had a profile around the borough like some of the others. Sh may have faded away...

Martin Francis said...

Patrick Vernon has updated his blog since I wrote my comment above. He has posted on the bedroom tax and on the BAME vote. He claims Black voters hold BAME candidats to higher standards and that is why Dawn Butler had the third highest swing against her in 2010 http://patrickvernon.org.uk/524/

Anonymous said...

will Labour get more councillors from Kenton ward and Sudbury ward?