Update, November 6th: Human rights barrister Sarah Sackman has been selected as the next Labour candidate in Finchley and Golders Green.
Update, October 23rd: A shortlist of two for the next Labour candidate in Finchley and Golders Green has been confirmed: Barnet councillor Arjun Mittra and human rights barrister Sarah Sackman.
Finchley and Golders Green has been represented in parliament by Tory MP Mike Freer since 2010, who was re-elected in 2019 with a majority of 6,562. But the seat returned a Labour MP throughout the New Labour years, meaning the contest in the constituency at the next election may be more interesting than its immediate electoral history would suggest.
Labour gained the local council, Barnet, at the local elections in May after 20 years of Tory rule. Labour took 12 seats from the Conservatives, leaving the Tories with 22 councillors and Labour 41 – the first time the party has had a majority on the council. The borough has a large Jewish population, and Labour said the party gaining the council showed the “progress Keir Starmer has made to regain the trust of Jewish voters”.
A longlist for the seat’s next Labour candidate has now been confirmed. Shortlisting is scheduled to take place on October 23rd, followed by hustings on November 6th. Here is our round-up of the candidates in the running:
The first name on the list is Hanif Khan. He was previously a councillor on Hounslow council, representing Hanworth Park ward from 2014 to 2022 and serving for four years as a cabinet lead for transport. Khan also served for a number of years as an executive member and secretary of the national association of Black, Asian and ethnic minority councillors. Outside of politics, he runs his own video production company and worked as a radio and TV broadcaster. Khan has been endorsed by shadow minister Seema Malhotra.
Arjun Mittra has also been longlisted. Mittra has been a councillor on Barnet council since 2012, representing East Finchley ward. He currently serves as chair of the council’s audit committee. Mittra has been endorsed by ex-London Assembly member and former MP for Hendon Andrew Dismore.
Next on the list is Sarah Sackman. She previously contested the seat in 2015, coming second behind Freer by 5,662 votes. She currently works as a human rights barrister and was a member of Gordon Brown’s constitution commission. She was born and grew up in the constituency. Sackman has been endorsed by UNISON, Community and GMB, as well as Labour MP Margaret Hodge and peer Alf Dubbs.
The last name on the longlist is Ruth Ward. She is a civil servant who currently works as the head of intelligence and evidence at the Department for Education. She was previously a senior policy adviser at the Cabinet Office and senior finance adviser at the Treasury.