It’s only 36 hours since the London Mayoral race came to an end, but already thoughts are turning to who might be Labour’s candidate next time. As Ken Livingstone leaves elected politics, for the first time in a generation theres a completely open field in the capital.
So far several candidates are being mentioned about as potential runners for the Labour selection. They are:
David Lammy – considered running in 2012 but decided instead to back Livingstone. His stock rose significantly after his reaction to riots in Tottenham, and his subsequent critically acclaimed book “Out of the Ashes” – leading to LabourList readers voted him MP of the Month back in August.
Jon Cruddas – He was tipped as a leadership candidate in 2010, but chose not to stand. Subsequently he was spoken about as a potential mayoral candidate, but swung his support behind Ken. Cruddas has been quiet in the last couple of years, but in the past he’s talked approvingly about the role of London Mayor, telling a close friend that “London Mayor is best job in British politics.” He’s an outer London MP, and he has experience of fighting the BNP in London – if he turns out to be a candidate, he’ll be a strong one.
Oona King – The only person who chose to stand against Livingstone in 2010, she was crushed in the selection campaign. But she built a campaign team around her and is popular with sections of the London Party. Her mischievous tweet yesterday suggests she’s at the very least trying to keep people guessing. Which she has…
Sadiq Khan – the most senior of the candidates in the running, the shadow justice secretary is thought to be seriously considering a run for mayor. By 2016 he’ll have been an MP for over 10 years (with 12 years as a local councillor), and has a Mayoral-candidate friendly back story – his father was a bus driver. Could “Yes We Ken” morph into “Yes We Khan”?
Stella Creasy – well liked, determined and ambitious, many have questioned why Creasy isn’t already in the Shadow Cabinet alongside talented peers like Umunna and Reeves. But a run for London Mayor could be on the cards for the Walthamstow MP – and it’s a win-win proposition for her. If she wins, she’d be one of the biggest names in the party. If she doesn’t, the profile would propel her to greater heights within the party. She’s the dark horse in this race, but certainly one to watch.
Steve Reed – certainly an option if Labour looks beyond MPs and ex-MPs. Reed won back Lambeth from a Tory-Lib Dem coalition in 2006 (Labour’s only council gain that year) showing he can win elections against the odds. Since then, he has turned Lambeth from a basket-case to establishing it as a flagship co-op council (the first in the country) – an alternative to government cuts adopted by over 20 other Labour councils nationally. He has connections with both inner London, where he lives and represents, and outer London, where he was brought up – and has ruffled Eric Pickles feathers recently with borough wide posters opposing his government’s cuts to vital services.
Update: Quite a few people on Twitter asking if Eddie Izzard is a potential candidate. He may well be – but we understand he’d be looking at 2020 or later.
We’ll be updating this list if anyone else appears to be taking a serious look at running in 2016. This isn’t an exhaustive list – and no candidate have confirmed that they are running, yet.