Newham mayor trigger ballot set to be re-run, Labour Party confirms

Sir Robin Wales

Sir Robin Wales - Credit: Newham Cll PR

The trigger ballot to decide whether Sir Robin Wales will be automatically selected as Labour’s candidate for mayor in this year’s elections will be re-run, the party has announced.

An email from the Greater London Labour Party to its members, seen by the Recorder, states that the process will be completed “as soon as possible”.

The original ballot was held in December 2016 to decide whether Sir Robin, as the incumbent mayor, would be automatically put forward as Labour’s candidate or whether there would be an open selection process allowing others the chance of being the party’s representative.

Sir Robin won the trigger ballot with 20 votes to 17 thanks to most affiliated organisations backing him - but 11 out of 20 Labour electoral wards called for the involvement of other candidates.

But last month, he called for the previous result to be scrapped after legal action was launched, explaining that he would be “supporting a new process to be undertaken under the auspices of the national or regional Labour Party”.

This was set to focus around the allegation that Labour’s governing body, the National Executive Committee (NEC), failed to investigate any allegations of wrong-doing.

The party defended itself in the email to members, stating: “The Labour Party maintains that all rules and procedures were applied correctly and that officers of the Local Campaign Forum [which administered the ballot] acted in good faith with the information they were provided with.”

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It added that the new trigger ballot “will be run with the same freeze date as the original process, October 25, 2016”.

Only people who had been Labour members for six months or more at that date will be eligible to take part in their branch’s vote, with the party saying it will contact those who fulfil that criteria to notify them of the meeting.

Two of Newham’s councillors, Kay Scoresby and John Whitworth, put their names forward as potential mayoral candidates in 2016, should the original result have gone the way of an open selection process.

The election for the mayor of Newham, along with ward councillors, is set to take place on Thursday, May 3.

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