Meet Labour Islington North candidate fighting Corbyn as NEC denies CLP vote

Tom Belger
© Twitter/@jeremycorbyn

Labour has confirmed Praful Nargund will stand as its candidate in Islington North, just hours after Jeremy Corbyn announced he will run as an independent in the constituency.

The announcement by London Labour comes in spite of a ballot of members originally being planned over the next week, choosing between Nargund and another candidate, Hackney councillor and London Assembly Member Sem Moema.

LabourList understands the National Executive Committee stepped in to accelerate the process though with the election weeks away, and selected Nargund over Moema.

Moema said: “Congratulations  – you will be a fantastic Labour MP for Islington North, and I can’t wait to join you on the doorstep to help get you elected!”

The NEC decision to deprive members of a vote is likely to be controversial, with anger among Corbyn’s supporters in the CLP already that he is not on the ballot.

READ MORE: Watch as Jeremy Corbyn launches independent campaign

The Islington councillor will face a tough campaign against the veteran former party leader in the north London seat he has held for four decades.

Nargund had been widely seen as a likely contender in the lead-up to the selection. He describes himself on his website as an “entrepreneur and campaigner”, who has spent a decade “using innovation to tackle inequalities in fertility treatment.”

He is on Islington council’s health, wellbeing and adult social care scrutiny committee, and his website says he has campaigned on issues including skills, home insulation and fuel poverty.

Praful Nagrund

His website states too that he grew up “in an NHS family”.

Nargund has remained tight-lipped during the campaign so far in recent days, however.

“Hellooo, is Praful there? It’s total silence from the Labour hopeful eyeing up seat,” ran the headline in local paper the Islington Tribune this morning.

Nargund has not responded to LabourList requests for comment previously about his campaign, either.

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