A Strong Voice for Croydon Central - Gavin Barwell MP
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Labour select Steve Reed as their candidate for Croydon North
04/11/2012 09:50:00


Congratulations to Steve Reed, who has been selected as Labour's candidate for the Croydon North by-election.

And my condolences to Valerie Shawcross, the former Leader of Croydon Council, who I had expected to win the selection. The Labour Party's decision not to allow her to stand down as a London Assembly member straight away if she was elected as an MP was both harsh on her - I understand the vote was very close so it almost certainly cost her the selection; and contrary to Labour's best interests - Val would have made a formidable candidate: a former Leader of the Council with London-wide experience who lives in the constituency.

Now that Labour have opted for Steve, the choice facing Croydon North voters is pretty clear.

This by-election isn’t going to change the Government. It is about chosing a new MP for Croydon North, someone like Malcolm Wicks who will be a good, local MP.

Unlike Labour’s candidate - who is a Brixton councillor - Andy Stranack lives in Croydon and works in the constituency. He is the only one of the main party candidates who is local.

Unlike Labour’s candidate, Andy isn’t a professional politician. He’s a community activist who has set up a number of projects including a debt advice service, a lunch club for the retired, several youth clubs and a job club. He now works for Ment4, a Croydon charity that helps young people aged between 14 and 19 who are involved in crime to turn their lives around.

Unlike Labour - who oppose a cap on the amount of benefits any out-of-work family can receive - Andy believes people who do the right thing and work hard should always be better off.

Andy was born with cerebral palsy. When he was 30, he gave up a well-paid job and moved onto an estate to work for next to nothing. He knows what it is like to experience discrimination and poverty. I believe he is best placed to be the MP Croydon North needs and deserves.

Read more about Andy by visiting his website.

Comment on this blog


Readers' Comments

On 06/11/2012 21:21:00 Adam Kellett wrote:
Not exactly brimming with confidence is he? I understand he is only going to resign as a Lambeth Councillor if he wins. Could be a smart move on Steve's part. If I still lived in Lambeth I would be down here every day campaigning for him so that he didn't come back!
On 07/11/2012 14:36:00 David wrote:
I'm glad you devote so much attention to the opposition rather than bigging up the policies, plans and positives of the Tory candidate. Now I feel I know more about Steve, I'm thinking an experienced politician with a wider range of experience than solely local community projects is just what is needed in such a melting pot as Croydon. Best leave the Community Worker doing what he is best at; community work.

As for being a local, there are many in Croydon who are born and bred here, but it doesn't qualify them as representative of the people. Streatham Hill, where Steve lives isn't so far.

On 08/11/2012 11:13:00 Anthony Miller wrote:
Andy Who? It might help you introduce your candidate to people if you were to use his full name for a while? I mean Andy could be the checkout assistant in Tescos. I'm not sure why it is a recommendation that he gave up a well paid job to work for next to nothing? Why? I think you need to give us a bit more background on that...



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