Caroline Pidgeon and Duwayne Brooks launch campaigns to be Liberal Democrat London Mayoral candidate

Today the race to be the Liberal Democrat candidate for mayor has had two entrants. Current London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon and former Lewisham Councillor Duwayne Brooks have thrown their hats into the ring.

Duwayne Brooks linked to an exclusive interview with ITV News in a tweet

He told ITV:

I’m going to protect London’s crown jewels and one of those crown jewels is black taxis.
People come to London to ride in black taxis. It’s an experience and we are going to lose that experience if we allow organisations like Uber and others to destroy our black taxi heritage.

Meanwhile, Caroline Pidgeon launched her campaign in an Islington nursery accompanied by Lynne Featherstone and Susan Kramer.

She told City AM that she wanted to concentrate on affordable childcare, housing and transport:

There are high costs and limited availability for care that makes it a burden for women to get back to work. London is a city with a talented and highly skilled work force, where a lot of people hold degrees, but this obstacle and the lack of available and affordable housing makes it difficult for people to get in to work.”

We want to try and free up the availability of the workforce in London and thereby help employer

Specifically, Pidgeon thinks making housing affordable through schemes such as rent-to-buy are important for people to be able to work in the city.

Having previously worked on transport issues, such as the one hour bus ticket in 2012, she also said: β€œWe need to make sure travel fares can be more flexible to suit the more flexible working conditions we see today.

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  • Sadie Smith 23rd Jun '15 - 3:00pm

    Tough choice.

  • Someone had better look after Richard Cobden’s bust in the NLC library. He will be spinning in his grave πŸ™‚ Two “liberal protectionists” to contest for running the greatest trading city on earth πŸ™‚

  • Nick T Nick Thornsby 23rd Jun '15 - 3:36pm

    What Tom and Jock said.

    Oh dear.

    Why don’t we go the whole hog and oppose mobile phones? Phone Boxes were also rather popular, after all.

  • Max Wilkinson 23rd Jun '15 - 3:49pm

    We must stop all change. This much is clear.

  • Patrick Murray 23rd Jun '15 - 3:54pm

    I’m not voting for anyone who doesn’t make solving the crippling and chronic lack of housing (affordable and otherwise) the central plank of their campaign. And no, Rent-to-buy doesn’t count.

  • paul barker 23rd Jun '15 - 3:56pm

    The central question in this contest is how we get voters to even notice that we are on the ballot ? For me that means Duwayne is the obvious choice – he has the WTF? factor. He doesnt look or sound like what most voters expect a Libdem to be. This is not a time to play safe.

  • paul barker 23rd Jun '15 - 4:05pm

    On Black Cabs, their lack of insight astonishes me. Driverless cars are coming & no Taxi operators will be able to compete on price. However what Black Cabs have is an internationally recognised Luxury brand, they dont have to compete on price, if anything, the more expensive they get the better they will do . Tourists want to ride in a Black Cab because that says “London”. Rich people want to ride Black Cabs because that says how rich they are.
    Campaigners for Black Cabs need to look back to what happened to The London Docks & , eventually to Docklands. Constant re-invention is the price of survival.

  • Surely it would be more effective to run a joint candidate with the Greens than come fourth again?

  • Alfred Motspur 23rd Jun '15 - 4:23pm

    Kevin, Zac Goldsmith’s bid might’ve added a teensy complication to that…

    I wonder if any of the former Lib Dem London MPs are interested?

  • LondonActivist 23rd Jun '15 - 4:45pm

    We keep talking about how London is a liberal city but the people who want to be our candidates for Mayor seem intent on pissing of potential younger liberal minded voters to try and win votes from a handful of right wing cabbies. As others have said this is just crazy.

  • I’m supprised that this is how people would kick off a campain. The priorites as I would see them would be:
    Other cost of living issues (granted child care is one of those)
    Diveristy of employment

    I see what the idea is (tactically) with the Anti-Uber thing, bit it is so badly done. If either candidate wants to get in to a reasonable place in the end, they will need to think bigger.

  • Peter Bancroft 23rd Jun '15 - 6:50pm

    It’s hard to picture how wrong-headed it is for our potential candidates to prioritise the livelihoods of 25,000 London black cab drivers by arbitrarily banning companies they don’t like over the needs of the 110,000 statutorily homeless people in this country. Please go think again, candidates.

    As Patrick said, on the margin schemes like rent to buy don’t count: By advocating only tactical “solutions” which won’t solve this country’s housing crisis we’re being part of the problem rather than the solution.

  • Eddie Sammon 23rd Jun '15 - 8:00pm

    What’s the point in even putting a candidate forward? Either Labour or Conservative are likely to win it and I can’t see much differentiation from the Lib Dems happening, so may as well just pick which candidate you prefer and get behind that campaign.

    Problems with the future direction of the party summed up.

  • Eddie

    “Either Labour or Conservative are likely to win it”

    But neither will be sufficiently liberal so there must be a liberal candidate fighting that corner.

  • Peter Bancroft 23rd Jun '15 - 8:18pm

    Mr Wallace, we don’t always get it right, but we don’t always get it wrong either. I’m one of many people in the party who don’t stand for that kind of stuff. In this case though these two candidates have got it wrong.

  • isnt it wonderful a few words from a candidate and in come all the big boots to run them down..of course Mr Wallace can be excused he hates Lib Dems anyway but the simple answer to MrSammon is that we need candidates so that Lib Dems can vote for them..I complain bitterly when constituencies adopt your view and dont stand.How does the party grow if their are not campaigns?

  • Eddie Sammon 23rd Jun '15 - 8:47pm

    Hi Bob, I think there is a case for only standing in target seats. But I was also venting my feelings that whether or not you agree with Clegg, at least he had a strategy for differentiation.

    I don’t want to run over the leadership election on this thread. But enthusiasm for Lib Dem candidates is on topic.

  • Eddie, when I first started standing in a derelict ward in our constituency in 1973 I told my small band of supporters that it could be 25 years before we won it (not the most inspiring of messages, I agree). But it was, and we fought it every year at every election in order to give people a chance of voting for us, and to develop a constituency of people who could say, “I always vote Liberal (Democrat)”. That is the only way to do it.

  • Eddie Sammon 23rd Jun '15 - 9:27pm

    Thanks Tony and Psi. I don’t like to sound defeatist. Caroline and Duwayne both sound like good candidates, but I think we need someone with a bigger profile. It is why I have suggested Maajid Nawaz. Possibly even Vince Cable.


  • Ruth Bright 23rd Jun '15 - 9:30pm

    tonyhill – I think that makes Eddie Sammon one of the few of us on this site young enough to make a quarter century campaign worth embarking on! Sorry Eddie.

    Sad that some here still regard childcare as a marginal issue – Caroline is really onto something with that.

  • Eddie Sammon 23rd Jun '15 - 9:58pm

    Lol! Good one Ruth! πŸ˜€

  • Stephen Hesketh 23rd Jun '15 - 10:16pm

    Eddie Sammon 23rd Jun ’15 – 8:47pm
    ” … whether or not you agree with Clegg, at least he had a strategy for differentiation.”

    Eddie, yes, Clegg did indeed have a strategy for differentiation and that was to bury it; and along with it our electoral chances.

    It really is time for LDV to adopt a policy of differentiation themselves and automatically flag up party members!

    Some new members must be wondering about the party they have joined when they read some of the comments made here by non-members!

  • Eddie

    “Maajid Nawaz” yep good choice, I wouldn’t opt for Vince as not really a mayor personality.

  • Robin Meltzer 24th Jun '15 - 7:43am

    Useful though it will be during the campaign, it is not the fact that Caroline Pidgeon knows City Hall inside out through her role as Leader of our Group on the Assembly, that makes me excited at the prospect of her being our Mayoral candidate. It is that she has transformed the role of Assembly Member from what is on paper a rather dry scrutineer of the Mayor’s budget and policies to a pro-active campaigner across London. She is respected across the political divide within City Hall for the way in which she she spends much of her work time (and far beyond it) out in communities, with councillors, MPs and candidates, helping them identify issues with relevance to her remit, and then turning them into campaigning matters within City Hall. She also manages to get herself into the London Evening Standard on a regular basis, sounding like a normal person. Which has to help!

    But for me, the really good thing about Caroline standing for Mayor – and this is really in answer to those people who ask what the point is of the Lib Dems even standing a candidate – is that in Caroline, we would have a Mayoral candidate who understands that her main priority for next May is to get as many Lib Dems elected as Assembly Members. Hers won’t be an ego-driven one-woman show, it will be a team effort, as the face of our 2016 campaign, to make sure voters who like what she has to say don’t just vote for her, but also vote across the ticket. She will probably be the first candidate since Susan Kramer who will actually go out and say that explicitly, rather than pretending Londoners get just one ballot paper on polling day.

  • Simon Banks 24th Jun '15 - 9:22am

    I don’t know enough about the black cabs issue to comment, especially as Uber for me simply has overtones of Nazi theory or (quite different) of the German national anthem. But there are some rather odd comments here. I struggle to see evidence in Caroline’s quoted comments that she is, as Jock claims, a protectionist (perhaps he’s such a pure free marketeer that he thinks government shouldn’t intervene at all? Don’t know). And Tom Papworth is carelessly comparing two different things – the number of service providers of one service (black cabs) with the number of users of the other service (Uber). It is at least arguable (though evidence would be useful) that black cabs might be one of those services that have knock-on benefits (attracting tourists who spend on many other things). Don’t know again – but it would be useful to look at these issues in an open-minded way and not from ideology purely.

  • Tom Papworth 23rd Jun ’15 – 4:35pm

    We should never ally with the Libertarians, The Adam Smith Institute, or the IEA because –
    1) they are not Liberal Democrats
    2) remember what happened when we worked with Cameron’s Conservatives.

    Would you agree to say this is just as valid as your earlier comment along similar lines?

  • Matthew Huntbach 24th Jun '15 - 10:40am

    Eddie Sammon

    Caroline and Duwayne both sound like good candidates, but I think we need someone with a bigger profile. It is why I have suggested Maajid Nawaz.

    Caroline has the GLA experience, and Duwayne has the experience of being a London Borough councillor. I think we should be pushing practical experience, not the celebrity factor.

  • Eddie Sammon 24th Jun '15 - 10:58am

    Matthew, before yesterday I didn’t know any of Duwayne’s policies and I only knew two things about Caroline: 1 that she is a hard worker and 2 she wants to ramp up gun licence fees because apparently the state paying for the cost of regulation is a subsidy. Regulation is also for the public benefit and if they public want it they should pay some of its costs too. I don’t want this attitude introduced further into financial services, which will mean more regulatory fees. So that is mainly why I only have a “lukewarm” reaction to her standing.


  • In many ways their policies are irrelevant – they are certainly irrelevant to the public of London – as neither has any chance at all of winning – possibly coming fourth, what we need is a candidate of interest who I think is clearly Duwayne , it would also help to improve this profile. No big name will contest the election precisely because there is no chance of winning – I don’t want someone like Vince Cable going through another humiliation coming fourth. Our effort for the mayor of London is purely symbolic, imo it should be a way of cultivating new talent within the party

  • Ruth Bright 24th Jun '15 - 4:41pm

    Caroline was also a London Borough councillor. She won a safe Labour ward in Southwark.

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