London Liberal Democrats postpone Mayoral candidate selection

London Region Liberal Democrats have postponed the Mayoral candidate selection, possibly for up to a year – although it’s hoped that nominations will be reopened much sooner.

The Local Government Chronicle said this week:

A selection had been due this autumn after which the party hoped it could get its candidate well enough known to take on incumbent Boris Johnson (Con) and Labour’s Ken Livingstone in May 2012. But regional chair Jonathan Fryer said the process had been halted because an insufficient number of approved applicants were available to put before party members.

“There will be a reopening of nominations in about a year’s time,” he said. “Obviously that means we will be fighting a different kind of campaign over just over six months.”

Mr Fryer said the party would go ahead this autumn with choosing a list of candidates for the London Assembly.

“We will be focusing on the GLA list and I am delighted with the both the quality and diversity of the candidates we have for that.”

London party members will vote this autumn to determine the order in which these candidates are ranked.

The shortlist of 11 candidates for the Liberal Democrat GLA top-up list has been finalised and is expected to be published early next week.

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6 Comments

  • This is a Stop Lembit move, and little else. I applaud that – Lembit is an embarrassment – but let’s be honest about it instead of beating around the bush.

  • Lembit was and is our best hope for this election. His nomination would help to support our list candidates and to give us a chance, at least, of winning. His media profile, political experience, and clearly liberal values will ensure that we as a party will be able to make this a three party contest if he is selected. We need to work with the resources we have rather than trying to pursuade people who don’t want to stand to do so. We need a candidate who is known to the electorate and committed to the task. This makes Lembit the best choice for us.

    Ed Joyce

  • @Ed Joyce – I think John McEnroe had a good saying for your kind of post. Please tell me your tongue was firmly in your cheek when you posted that

  • Lembit lost a seat in Westminster at the General Election. – quite frankly he totally blew what could be a safe seat for the Liberal Democrats. Lets get real about that.

    He was an appalling housing spokesman for the party (and housing is obviously a key issue in London). Just as one example – during the Bournemouth Conference debate on housing far from listening and participating in the debate he was messing around wth a Segway to try to just attact some personal attention for himself – truly shocking behaviour of a parliamentary spokesman and showing a complete lack of respect to conference delegates.

    More widely did he engage with Liberal Democrat councils and councillors in London during his time as housing spokesman? Did he engage with the housing press and raise our profile on housing? I think not.

    He recently accepted an invitation to appear on LBC radio for an hour long political programme and suddenly left the studio after 30 minutes to go to a comedy club. That is appalling behaviour for any person seeking to reprent the Liberal Democrats in London. We need people who are good media performers – not people who think it is acceptable to leave half way through a radio programme.

    And at our Liverpool conference he failed to engage with London members (he wasn’t even present at the London reception) but when he eventually turned up in Liverpool, after being on a cruise, he went around wearing a badge saying “I love the Tories” – some might say this is just a bit of a fun, but I think such behaviour sums up just what a complete and utter joke this man is – and showing a complete naiverty about the media scrutiny the whole party now is under.

    Lembit has no strong record on issues relating to housing, transport or policing in London, let alone the 2012 Olympics or the key issue of reducing inequality in London – in his 13 years as an MP.

    As someone who seems so obsessed with flying does he really represent London Liberal Democrats who campaigned so strongly against the third Heathrow runway and who now question the controversial decision to allow such a substantil expansion of City Airport?

    And as someneone who was thrown out by his constituents in mid Wales (and not under the circumstances facing someone like Susan Kramer for example who had a candidate who some would say came close to even buying the seat), why should London Liberal Democrats take him even remotely seriously?

    If anyone really thinks highly of Lembi as a person for his own sake t they should spend their time giving him some support and career advice which is totally unrelated to politics.

    Simon

  • actually heard about something like this happening back in Liverpool (though I didn’t expect it to be pushed back a whole year!)
    the reason: the quotas set.
    there’s NO woman candidate so far.

    It’s the concrete proof of why the Diversity motion as originally drafted (before the amendments) was stupid: quotas don’t work if you don’t have the right candidates to stand in the first place (and here we’re talking about the gender one.. the one we have 50% of the population, and probably of the membership, to draw from.. imagine trying to extend that to BAME outside London!)

    not even sure if this delay will work against Lembit in the end (I hope so!)

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