Sir Robin Wales approved as Newham mayoral candidate by Labour committee
PUBLISHED: 17:34 31 January 2017 | UPDATED: 17:43 31 January 2017
Sir Robin Wales has been approved as Labour’s candidate for the 2018 Mayor of Newham elections by its National Executive Committee (NEC).
The decision was announced at a full council meeting yesterday after Iain McNicol, general secretary of the Labour Party, confirmed the results in an email just after 3pm.
It follows a rebellion by nearly 50 Labour party members, including 10 councillors, who wrote to the NEC last Tuesday (Jan 24) asking for a “full enquiry” into the results of the Newham mayoral trigger ballot.
Sir Robin told the Recorder: “I am pleased to be confirmed as Labour’s candidate for Mayor of Newham at the forthcoming local elections in 2018.
“And I look forward to working with all of my Labour colleagues to put forward a fresh, innovative and effective set of proposals for that election.
“We can now focus on what really matters – to continue to improve services for the residents of Newham and to take the fight to this hard right Tory government.”
Prior to the announcement, concerns about Sir Robin’s reselection in the affirmative nomination process were raised in a 13-page letter signed by 47 members of the East Ham and West Ham Consituency Labour Parties.
It questioned “failures of process/propriety and procedural irregularities” in the affirmative nomination process which resulted in Sir Robin Wales’ win on December 5.
However, these claims were quashed in Iain McNicol’s email to the protesters, which was copied to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and deputy Tom Watson, along with other NEC members.
He wrote: “The trigger ballot was raised very briefly at the NEC meeting on the Tuesday and there was a short discussion.
“However the NEC did not discuss or agree to pausing or changing the result of this process and the result still stands.”
He added: “NEC members have agreed to come to Newham and speak to members about what lessons can be learned from this process and how future trigger ballot processes can be conducted in a way that best engages members and affiliates.”
Sir Robin’s confirmation was emailed to him at the same time by the party’s London regional director Dan Simpson.
He was given a round of applause by some councillors after mentioning the confirmation at the meeting.
A spokesperson for campaign website Democracy Triggered said: “Robin Wales is showing the disdain for the will of ordinary party members in Newham.
“Despite a majority [of wards] voting for an open selection, he’s ignoring their demands for choice of who should be the 2018 directly elected mayoral Labour candidate.
“Instead he’s desperately clinging on to power through some votes that are still under investigation but with no popular mandate.”
Newham Fabian Society’s General Purposes Committee is presently looking into the issues raised by the recent trigger ballot process in Newham.