The battle for Brent is all Black


Update: Following information from our supporters, we're now aware that there are also non-BME candidates competing for the Brent Central seat.

To my knowledge there have only been two other occasions in British political history when, by default, not design, a local party has selected a predominantly Black list. The first time was also the Brent Central seat, which the young Paul Boateng won back in the 80’s and then more recently when Rushnara Ali was selected priory to the 2010 General elections.

Now it seems Brent has done it again, although the final decision has yet to be made. At the moment, the list is almost 'All black' and a formidable group, including two former Government Ministers, Dawn Butler and Pramjit Dhanda, long time community activist and councilor Kingsley Abrams, Cllr and CEO of Every Generation Patrick Vernon and OBV's alumni Imran Ahmed.

The battle for Brent has recently intensified after sitting MP Sarah Teather decided she would not stand in 2015, citing the coalition’s stance on immigration and lack of implanting equalities has her reason. No one doubts that if Teather had have stood for a second term, she would have been once again a formidable opponent.

For Labour Party bosses, this unexpected primarily Black list must be a manna from heaven because in at least 10 selection battles, many in BME areas, no BME candidate has come through. Complaints about the Labour party taking the BME vote for granted have been steadily growing.

Whichever of these talented candidates wins the selection, Labour still has to do a lot more to ensure that it reflects the support that it gets at any one election.

The short list will be decided on November 16 and announced shortly after.

Good luck to all the candidates.

Simon Woolley