Lee Jasper is Respect's candidate in Croydon North

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The former policy adviser to the London Mayor is Respect's candidate for the Croydon North by-election. This election has come about following the untimely and sad death of Malcolm Wicks.

There is no doubt that the inclusion of Lee Jasper to this by-election will spice up the debate, it will also worry the main stream political parities, and perhaps ensure a greater political turnout.

Respect MP George Galloway stated:

'If I could have composed the perfect candidate to fight this seat then it would be Lee Jasper. Lee has a stellar track record in activism and community involvement. As well as being a crucial member of Ken Livingstone's team in governing London, as Director for Policing and Equalities. His record of public service is unequalled.'

Lee Jasper himself said:

'I'm delighted to be the Respect candidate. Following George's amazing victory in Bradford West I welcome the opportunity to offer the people of Croydon North a viable alternative to the tired and failed politics of the mainstream political parties. The responsibility for the economic crisis lies with banks and not the people of Croydon North and yet they are seeing their services cut and the welfare reforms are causing real hardship and acute distress.'

Community worker Andy Stranack has already been selected by the Tories, while Marisha Ray will stand for the Lib Dems.

The Labour party have yet to select their candidate but a shortlist of five includes Steve Reed, Val Shawcross, Faz Hakim, Louisa Woodley and Steve Burgess.

In the weeks ahead, OBV will be taking a closer look at the candidates.

Simon Woolley

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