Lewisham West selection: New names emerge to rival former Labour official


Several more names have emerged in the race to be Labour’s candidate in a safe London seat.

A local councillor, international development expert and former think tank boss are said to have applied for Lewisham West and Penge.

Ellie Reeves, a former member of Labour’s ruling national executive committee (NEC), is one of the favourites after applications closed yesterday.

The vacancy has been created by Jim Dowd’s decision to step down. He posted a majority of 12,714 in the south London constituency in 2015 which means it is expected to stay Labour despite the party’s poor position in the polls nationally.

Candidates will be appointed by a panel of NEC and regional board representatives.

The activists thought to have applied include:

Kevin Bonavia

The solicitor and Lewisham councillor is best known for his work with Syrian refugees and is a former chair of both the Young Fabians and Young Labour Lawyers. He was Labour’s candidate in Rochford and Southend East in 2010 and is a member of Unite.

Ibrahim Dogus

The entrepreneur and co-chair of SME4Labour is perhaps best-known for his role in the popular British Kebab Awards, which is attended by activists from across the party. He is also the founder director of the Centre for Turkey Studies.

Jane East

The international development worker contested Colne Valley seat in Yorkshire for Labour at the last general election. She has worked for Christian Aid for several years, including a spell in Nigeria.

Ian Kearns

The former deputy director of the IPPR, a left-leaning think tank, lives in Lewisham and is a former chair of the neighbouring Lewisham Deptford constituency Labour Party (CLP). He co-founded and previously directed the European Leadership Network, a pan-European NGO.

Ellie Reeves

The employment law barrister narrowly lost her place on the NEC last year, when a series of pro-Corbyn candidates won through, but is well-known in the capital due to her role as vice-chair of London Labour Party. She is married to John Cryer, chair of the parliamentary Labour Party (PLP), while Lewisham West and Penge is her home constituency.

Christian Wolmar

The transport expert and author who contested the Richmond Park by-election for Labour last year has thrown his hat in the ring. He has frequently spoken out over his belief that Brexit will be a “disaster” for the country.

Do you know of someone seeking selection in Lewisham West and Penge? If so then please email [email protected]

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