Sir Robin Wales calls for Labour members to vote for open selection in trigger ballot
- Credit: Newham Cll PR
Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales has called on Labour party members to vote for an open selection during the trigger ballot process.
The ballot, which will decide whether Sir Robin, as the incumbent mayor, will automatically be selected as the party’s candidate or whether there will be an open selection, is taking place over the next couple of weeks.
The first constituency to vote, West Ham, voted 24 to 1 in favour of an open selection yesterday.
Ahead of that vote, Sir Robin said: “Over the next couple of months I want Newham Labour Party members to give their mandate to a mayoral and 60 councillor candidates, so that we can unite as a party and focus on the Labour-led values that we take to residents in the May local elections.
“It is important we have an open debate about the vision that we present to the people of Newham.”
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He outlined a list of achievements the party had accomplished during his time as mayor, including freezing council tax for nine years, creating 35,000 jobs through the Workplace scheme and the Every Child initiative.
He added: “That is the radical agenda that we have been following since I have been mayor and continues to drive my vision for Newham in the future.
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“It is this record and vision that I want to proudly defend and promote in an open selection.
“That is why I am calling on all members and affiliates in Newham to vote in favour of an open selection if they attend their branch meetings to cast their vote on the trigger ballot.”
The ballot is being re-run because the December 2016 result was scrapped after legal action was launched.
But with the ballot of Labour branches and affiiated organisations not being completed until Sunday, February 11, there will be less than three months for the party to select their candidate and contest the election, which is due to take place on Thursday, May 3.
Cllr Julianne Marriott, who has long called for an open selection, said: “An open selection has only ever been the sensible option for Newham.
“But Labour members must still go to their meetings to vote no. If they don’t Robin Wales will still be the default candidate - no matter what he says.”