Friday, 6 December 2013

Croydon Labour’s Flagship Candidate Secretly ‘Shortlisted’ in Carshalton, Claims Labour Blog

Eyes on another borough? Labour sources suggest Andrew Pelling is seeking to be MP elsewhere
There was fresh embarrassment for the Croydon Labour Party tonight, after the Labour History blog made claims that Waddon candidate Andrew Pelling was on the shortlist to become the MP of Carshalton and Wallington. The Labour History blog is widely regarded to be a reputable source, with over 7,000 twitter followers, including several senior members of the Croydon Labour party and the shadow cabinet, but the Croydon Gazette has yet to verify the claims despite repeated attempts to contact the Labour press office.  

If true, the scandal will pile further pressure on Croydon Labour leader Tony Newman, already heavily criticised for overseeing the appointment of some of the worst candidates in the Labour group’s electoral history, whilst dumping traditional supporters. The announcement was picked up by local journalist Gareth Davies, who claimed that the tweet could signal that Mr Pelling had bigger ambitious. Along with the majority of people in Croydon, Mr Davies has been frequently targeted by the Inside Croydon blog, of which Mr Pelling is special correspondent, the site’s editor is Steven Downes. The pair’s online antics and savage attacks have sent shockwaves through the local political community, a strategy which Labour Leader Newman refuses to condemn despite outcry from the general public.
Whilst electoral rules do allow politicians to run as parliamentary candidates whilst holding the job of a Councillor elsewhere, it would be unprecedented for an elected MP to continue with Council duties, particularly if the job resided within another constituency. Given the electoral timetable, that would mean that if Mr Pelling was successful in Waddon next Spring and was successful a year later at the general election in 2015 as an MP, he would come under political pressure to resign from the Croydon Council role after serving for only 12 months in the job, a move which would trigger a costly by-election which could place a heavy burden on Labour’s already limited finances.

Strange, but true?
The news was greeted with much amusement by local Conservative activists, “If this is true then we should hold a town party to celebrate, let’s hope he takes Downes with him and they can set up ‘Inside Carshalton’ together."

1 comment:

  1. You stated that "it would be unprecedented for an elected MP to continue with Council duties." Actually it is not unprecedented because not only is it legal to be both a Councillor and an MP but between 2005 and 2006 Andrew Pelling was a Croydon Councillor, the Assembly Member for Croydon & Sutton, and the MP for Croydon Central.