Labour left takes over at Streatham AGM

Sienna Rodgers

The left took over the executive of Streatham Labour at its latest annual general meeting on Thursday evening, winning almost every post.

Dr Valerie Coultas was elected as chair of the local party by 197 votes to 183, while anti-Brexit campaigner Seema Syeda and lawyer Axel Landin were chosen as co-secretaries.

In response to the results, ex-Labour MP Mike Gapes tweeted that Coultas had been a “leading member of the International Marxist Group in the NUS”. The new chair was active in the group in the 1970s, then a journalist for Socialist Action in the 1980s.

Streatham Labour recently voted to adopt an all-member meeting (AMM) local party structure, which was key in helping the left to secure wins last night.

Described as “the former south London heartland of Progress” by left-wing anti-Brexit activist Michael Chessum, Labour left members in Streatham are now looking forward to selecting a Corbynite candidate who may go up against The Independent Group’s Chuka Umunna.

Ahead of the AGM, local London Assembly Member Florence Eshalomi sent out a letter and leaflet by post to all members. Providing a map and details of the meeting, the AM urged them to vote for the Corbynsceptic slate of candidates.

Referring to the new AMM structure, Eshalomi’s letter read: “There are members of the local Labour Party who want to use this new system to as a mechanism to deselect local councillors and me… We need your help to stop that happening.”

Eshalomi is expected to stand in the upcoming parliamentary selection in Streatham, which could be subject to an all-women shortlist.

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