Even before the parliamentary selection process began, Enfield North Labour was widely regarded to be embroiled in a civil war. There has been no shortage of controversies in the constituency currently held by Joan Ryan.
Last year, the selection process for council candidates saw members demand that Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) investigate amid accusations of voting irregularities and inconsistencies in interviews. There have been many allegations of racism and bullying on all sides of the row.
Over the summer, local members considered moving a vote of no confidence in Labour’s London regional director, as LabourList reported, because they suspected that the selection process was being purposefully delayed.
More recently, Momentum’s national coordinator Laura Parker announced her intention to run in the seat. The move provoked further disputes among local members, and Enfield Momentum released a strongly-worded statement.
“The first we heard about any endorsement of Laura as the supposed “Momentum candidate” was when local members informed us they’d been canvassed by people they’d never heard of from outside Enfield,” the local group’s secretary David Beadle said.
Enfield Momentum stated that it did not accept “unknown candidates” being “parachuted” into the seat, and concluded that Parker did not have an “understanding of the complexities of Enfield Labour politics”.
Parker had been expected to stand in Vauxhall, where she lives and where the party is also looking for a new parliamentary candidate. But according to a source close to the Momentum official, she was asked by young local activists to stand in Enfield North instead.
It is also widely thought that Ibrahim Dogus – who set up CEFTUS and the British Kebab Awards, and has known Jeremy Corbyn personally for many years – is the leadership favourite in Vauxhall.
There is now a fresh controversy: selections have been suspended, yet Enfield North has continued with its process. All party branches have nominated candidates, while unions have not all decided. The long-list is due to be finalised by the local selection committee on October 7th.
A number of local activists suspect that Labour’s NEC will intervene, either by rerunning parts of the process or imposing a candidate. According to a well-placed source, several complaints have been submitted to the regional party already.
The perceived importance of the seat is said to have changed after incumbent Joan Ryan – who now sits as Change UK MP – announced that she would not be standing again, making it more winnable for Labour.
Update, October 2nd, 9am: Applicants have now been informed by the procedures secretary that the selection has been officially paused.
Update, October 3rd, 8am: LabourList was told that the CLP did not have the authority to continue the selection, but now understands that the selection committee had been working under supervision from both NEC and region.
In alphabetical order, here are the main contenders of those seeking selection in Enfield North. Many, many applications were submitted for the seat, so this list will be kept limited but may be updated as tips come in…
Ade Adinshina – Former chair of the Enfield Racial Equality Council and charity CEO. Prominent local activist, backed by the Momentum Black Caucus. Also applied for London-wide GLA list.
Tolga Aramaz – Councillor for Edmonton Green, only 24 years old. His pitch says he “lived in poverty for many years” and still shares a bedroom with his sister. He supports Jeremy Corbyn. Received two ward nominations.
Laween Atroshi – Challenged Michael Gove in 2017 as Labour’s first British-born Kurdish parliamentary candidate. Campaigned for Sadiq Khan. Currently chief executive officer at an urgent care centre. Has challenged Labour’s handling of antisemitism. Supported Corbyn in 2016.
Guney Dogan – Councillor for Lower Edmonton, cabinet member. Accountant by trade. Received one ward nomination.
Susan Erbil – Councillor for Ponders End, CLP youth officer and trainee solicitor. She is Guney Dogan’s cousin. Received two ward nominations.
Mark French – CLP vice-chair. Supports Corbyn, and was vocal in backing the motion of no confidence in Joan Ryan. Received one ward nomination.
Dean Gilligan – This Harrow councillor is rumoured to be the candidate that the NEC would impose if that is how the process unfolds. He is on the lay member governing body of GMB. Gilligan has confirmed to LabourList that he is seeking selection here.
Margaret Greer – Councillor for Lower Edmonton and Unison national race equality officer. Her bid has been endorsed by MPs Eleanor Smith and David Lammy. Nominated by both Unison and CWU.
Maria Kyriacou – Supports Corbyn. Member of Enfield Momentum and publicly backed its vote of no confidence in Jon Lansman. Tweeted that Laura Parker’s bid would “confuse the left, sow division, and assist the right”. Her pitch says she is a cancer survivor, and also that her family was forced into exile after they were falsely accused of being communists.
Delia Mattis – Chair of Enfield local campaign forum. Wrote a piece for Labour Briefing on her bid and explained that she moved to the area via a women’s refuge and temporary housing. She was the original chair of Enfield Momentum, and has previously supported Jackie Walker and Chris Williamson. Has described herself as a “bit sweary”.
Khaled Moyeed – Haringey councillor and current member of Labour’s top disciplinary body, the national constitutional committee (NCC). Solicitor by trade. Supports Corbyn. Has supported Labour’s Brexit position but vowed to campaign for Remain in a fresh referendum.
Laura Parker – Former aide to Jeremy Corbyn, and currently Momentum’s national coordinator. The local Momentum group was not happy about her bid. The left in Enfield is quite Eurosceptic, and Parker is an anti-Brexit activist who has campaigned for a public vote and Remain.
Ed Poole – CLP vice-chair and GP surgery practice manager. Has lived in the constituency since 2015. Supports Corbyn and has a big following on Twitter. Received one ward nomination.
Doug Taylor – Enfield council leader until he was unexpectedly challenged by Nesil Caliskan. He had been backed as leader by the Momentum steering group, though considered “moderate”. Still on the council, representing Ponders End. Won the Co-operative Party nomination.
Calvin Tucker – Vice-chair of Enfield Southgate CLP and national campaigns manager of the Morning Star. Brother of Haringey councillor Noah Tucker. He takes a keen interest in Latin American politics and supports Venezuela’s President Maduro. Backed by the BFAWU, ASLEF and the NUM.