diamond geezer

 Tuesday, August 11, 2015

There's only one more day to sign up if you want to help decide Labour's candidate for London's Mayor. Registration costs £3, and ballot papers start arriving at the weekend. Opening up selection to the public could be a risky gamble, partly because any old right-winger can sign up, but also because disgruntled supporters might lose faith if their preferred candidate doesn't win. Voting continues until 10th September, with the chosen candidate due to be announced on the 13th, leaving less than eight months to campaign for the Mayorship.

So who's in the running, and what might their chances be?

Diane Abbott (@Diane4London): A well known larger-than-life campaigner, and the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington. As the first black woman to be elected to the House of Commons, she'd provide the sharpest contrast to Ken and Boris. Has the least complex website, but with drill-down detail. Wants a four year fares freeze. Could be chosen, could be elected. "Londoners need a strong campaigning Mayor in City Hall who will stand up against the Tories and will be part of Labour’s fight back against this Tory government"
Tessa Jowell (@tessajowell): The most well-known candidate, with a proven London record thanks to London 2012, and a likely safe pair of hands. Stood down as MP for Dulwich and West Norwood at the last election in readiness. Has a whizzy scroll-down website with plenty of news. Wants a one year fares freeze. Favourite to be chosen, favourite to be your Mayor next year. "The question for this selection is simple- who can deliver the change that London needs?"
Sadiq Khan (@sadiqkhan): The son of a bus driver, a former lawyer, and the current MP for Tooting. Not a widely-known name, but former Mayor Ken's preferred candidate. Website has a lot of photos of himself standing in front of things. Wants a bus fare cut and a four year fare freeze. Unlikely to be chosen, could be elected. "I entered politics to serve my community and help others get the same opportunities I had.
 That's why I'm standing for Mayor."
David Lammy (@davidlammy): The MP for Tottenham, who's said (and done) a lot on the subject of the local riots. Has been out on his soapbox talking to passers-by all across the capital. Website has an opening video, but only headline detail on policies. Wants a four year freeze on season tickets. Unlikely to be chosen, could be be elected. "Let’s unite this city. We need new leadership for a new London. With your support, that’s what I’ll bring."
Gareth Thomas (@gareththomasmp): The most business-friendly candidate, and the Labour and Co-op MP for Harrow West. Wants London to be its own city state, to feed back investment into the capital. An impersonal campaign website, but with plenty of linked features. Wants a fares cut, then a three year freeze. Won't be chosen. "I want to be Mayor of London – so that Londoners get their fair share of London’s success."
Christian Wolmar (@wolmarforlondon): Journalist and author (never an MP), with a grassroots campaign, hence the rank outsider. Knows his transport inside-out, which is important when transport is the Mayor's largest area of influence. Has a modern website with substantial policy depth. Wants a one year fares freeze and a fares restructure. Won't win, but London'd likely be a better city if he did. "Like many of you I want something fresh, new and authentic, far from the empty clichés of Westminster politics."

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