Monday, September 14, 2020

Light on that Lib Dem London mayoral shortlist

I’ve been talking to well-placed sources and Lib Dem insiders about the debacle over the appearance of Geeta Sidhu-Robb on the shortlist from which our new London mayoral candidate will be selected.

It seems the shortlisting committee had not heard even a whisper about her anti-Semitic campaigning and that if it had then her name would never have gone forward to the members.

All the candidates (there were originally three, but one withdrew during the process) had passed their media and policy interviews and survived social media vetting. Selection committees have to take such information, along with someone’s already being an approved candidate, as a given.

Disquiet had been expressed about some of her views and media appearances, see PoliticsHome for examples, but the committee decided to allow party members to be the judge of them. Such committees are always reminded that it is their job to compile a shortlist, not to select the final candidate.

Besides, had the committee come up with a shortlist of one after excluding a possible BAME candidate… Well, you can imagine what the reaction would have been.

I get the impression that the problems with the system lie some way upstream of the committee that selects the shortlist. Unsuitable candidates should be winnowed out before they get that far.


crewegwyn said...

Have the candidate approval folk not heard of "google search" ?

Hywel said...

It is a fair decision to shortlist her given the information they had. Shortlisting committees can reasonably assume that the candidates before them have met the minimum standards needed for candidatute.

The fault here lies with the approval process