One of Labour’s most senior figures in London has criticised the party’s decision to delay the selection of a Mayoral candidate until September and warned the party “can’t be complacent” about its prospects of winning next year.
Although some in the party wanted a candidate chosen before the general election it was decided to delay the start of the process until this month with a winner named in July.
Some contenders have blamed this decision on Tooting MP Sadiq Khan, the party’s former London spokesperson who it’s claimed wanted to see whether there was a cabinet post for him before deciding to put his hat in the ring.
Labour’s National Executive Committee has now decided to further delay the selection to coincide with the election of a success to Ed Miliband who quit following last week’s general election defeat.
As a result, Londoners won’t discover the name of Labour’s candidate for next year’s Mayoral election until September 12th.
Len Duvall, chair of the regional Labour party and leader of the party’s City Hall group, described the move as “poor decision” and said the party “should have had a candidate months ago.”
He added that the candidate needs to be able “to spend maximum time engaging with the communities of London” and warned that the new timeline “doesn’t help this”
Mr Duvall also warned that the party “can’t be complacent” in its quest to secure only its second ever Mayoral victory.
Other Labour politicians have also criticised the delay
Delaying Labour's mayoral selection until September to fit with leadership election is a stupid idea. Leaves London Labour rudderless.
— Matthew Bennett (@CllrMattBennett) May 13, 2015
@CllrMattBennett lesson from election is we should have started even earlier campaigning! NEC don't realise this is election 8million LDN
— Cllr Timothy Godfrey (@timothygodfrey) May 13, 2015