Updated: The activists who could soar as Labour’s candidate in Richmond Park

1st November, 2016 4:00 pm


Trade unionists and local councillors are among those vying to win the Labour nomination to take on Zac Goldsmith in the Richmond Park by-election.

Sachin Patel, who fought the seat in the general election, has already declared his intention to stand again and would appear to be the early favourite.

Several other local Labour figures are interested, however, in the high-profile poll which was triggered by Goldsmith’s decision to stand down as a Conservative MP in protest at the expansion of Heathrow airport.

The winner of the Labour nomination will be announced after the hustings on Saturday and will be pitched against Goldsmith, running as an independent, and Sarah Olney, who has been chosen by the Liberal Democrats.

Here are some of the activists who could be on the final shortlist:

Sachin Patel – the supermarket manager and Usdaw rep stood for Labour last year, when he came third but increased the party’s share of the vote by 7.3 per cent. He has confirmed he wants to run again and on Saturday wrote on Twitter: “That’s the papers sent off to be in the mix for @richmond clp. Candidate in the #richmondbyelection fought Zac once and want to do it again”.

Barnaby Marder – has won praise already from Red Labour, the champion of “grassroots socialism”. The group said he has been a “leading local activist” since he joined the party in 1977 and is pushing the “Feel the Barn” slogan in homage to US left-winger Bernie Sanders, who fought an intense battle for the Democratic presidential nomination this year.

Ollie Lee – a management consultant who currently sits on the executive committee of Richmond Park Labour, he has pored through the report of the Airports Commission to test the evidence for their final recommendation to expand Heathrow. He also has been praised locally as a strong communicator.

Sam Stopp – the Brent councillor and Corbynsceptic is chair of the Labour Campaign to End Homelessness and is a member of the GMB Young London committee. His day job is with public relations and communications firm Curtin & Co.

Christian Wolmar – a transport expert who ran for Labour’s selection to become the candidate for London Mayor last year, and surprised many with a strong showing against four parliamentarians.

James Beckles – a Labour councillor in Newham, Beckles is a member of the Labour BAME executive and is standing for Progress strategy board. He says that the Government decision on Heathrow needs reviewing.

Joseph Hayat – a journalist and entrepreneur who has previously stood as a Respect council candidate.

If you have put yourself forward for the selection in Richmond Park, or have any tips about the race, please let us know by emailing us at [email protected]

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