Claudia Webbe takes place of Keith Vaz in Leicester East

Sienna Rodgers

Claudia Webbe – a high-profile Islington councillor and member of Labour’s ruling body – has been chosen as the next candidate for Leicester East, where she will take the place of Keith Vaz.

Commenting on her selection, Webbe told LabourList: “I am proud to be born and bred in Leicester, and that’s why I am honoured to have the opportunity to represent the Leicester East community, where my family still live, and to make a positive impact on the lives of local people.”

Webbe is currently a local party representative on Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) and the council cabinet member for the environment and transport in Islington. She is also on Labour’s London regional board and the executive of left-wing group the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD).

The Labour left activist is now set to stand on December 12th in the safe seat, where the party won a majority of 22,428 votes at the last general election in 2017. She was widely expected to secure the Leicester East selection after Vaz, who has represented the constituency since 1987, announced his retirement on Sunday.

Vaz was found to have “expressed willingness” to buy cocaine for others and issued with a six-month suspension from parliament. His decision to step down saved the NEC from having to make a decision on whether to endorse him as a candidate.

As with all parliamentary selection contests taking place at this late stage, there was no hustings or vote by local party members but the candidate was instead picked by a selection panel including two NEC representatives.

Webbe was included on the London Assembly selection shortlist in October. Only one other candidate – Sem Moema – was put on the North East list, which means she will be selected unless the shortlist is rerun.

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