Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Sir Peter Soulsby fights for Labour's Leicester mayoral candidacy

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I suspect I have more sympathy for the Mayor of Leicester's flagship policies on heritage and reducing the motor car's stranglehold on the city than many Labour members do.

Anyway, Sir Peter Soulsby is now well into his second term and wants to be the Labour candidate at the mayoral election in May of  next year.

As the Leicester Mercury explains:
Each one of the city’s 22 Labour branches, reflecting the council wards, and around 25 affiliate organisations such as trade unions and the Co-op Society will each vote to decide whether there will be open selection or to put forward Sir Peter automatically.
My sources tell me that Soulsby's people turn up at these branch meetings and inform members that an open contest would be "divisive," "unhelpful" or "destabilising".

"We don't want the Mercury reporting that Soulsby has been deselected," they are told.

And it seems to be working. When that Mercury report I quote above was published on 26 January, four branches had met and all had voted for an open selection.

At the meetings held since then, however, most have opted to put Soulsby forward unopposed.

I am also told that, for all the stories about Labour attracting new young members, those attending these meeting tend to be at the other end of the age spectrum.

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