Hackney councillor picked to replace Joan Ryan in Enfield North

Sienna Rodgers

Hackney councillor Feryal Clark (Dermici) was picked by Enfield North members on Saturday afternoon to replace sitting MP Joan Ryan as Labour’s parliamentary candidate in the key defector seat.

Clark, who is also deputy mayor of Hackney, beat GMB-backed Harrow councillor Dean Gilligan, Unison officer and local councillor Margaret Greer, and Barking councillor Sanchia Alasia.

Following the result, the newly selected candidate tweeted: “I’m honoured to have been selected as the PPC for Enfield North. Thank you to all the members who have put their faith in me.

“I will work tirelessly for every member, every resident and every community to win the next general election and represent you in parliament.”

The four candidates received the following numbers of first preference votes:

  • Feryal Clark – 87
  • Margaret Greer – 35
  • Sanchia Alasia – 31
  • Dean Gilligan – 28

227 ballots were returned in total, and 181 valid votes were counted. 46 ballots were void due to being spoiled.

LabourList has been told by one Enfield North member to “expect an immediate vote of no confidence” from the constituency party, following the conclusion of a process that was deemed unsatisfactory by a number of local activists.

As reported last week, the selection was branded a “stitch up” when prominent local activists who applied – including Ed Poole, Maria Kyriacou, Mark French, Tolga Aramaz and Delia Mattis – were not long listed by Labour’s ruling body.

Local members are usually in charge of the process of selecting parliamentary candidates, but Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) decided to take control of longlisting and partial control of shortlists. This has proved to be controversial in selections across the country.

Aggrieved party members from the Labour left in Enfield North protested outside the selection meeting today, and handed out leaflets that encouraged attendees to spoil their ballot papers.

“We ask you not to participate in voting for any of the four,” the distributed leaflet read. “Spoil your ballot by writing “undemocratic” on it. These spoiled ballots will be counted and recorded.”

After quitting the Labour Party, incumbent Joan Ryan now sits as a Change UK MP. She has no plans to contest the next election, which gives the Labour candidate a clearer path to winning the seat.

Although Ryan’s 2017 majority was substantial at 10,247 votes, the seat has been marginal in the past with majorities between 2,291 and 1,086 from 2001 to 2015.

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