Lambeth, Leadership and New Direction
By Will Mendoza
We may only be two weeks into 2019, but political change is already in motion across London. Away from ongoing struggles in Brussels and Westminster, some of London’s boroughs will have fresh leadership this year. The most notable change to date is in Lambeth following today's resignation of Councillor Lib Peck, whilst sources indicate there could be changes afoot elsewhere.
Lambeth Leader, Councillor Lib Peck, resigns to take up role at City Hall
This morning Councillor Lib Peck announced on Twitter that she will be resigning as Leader of Lambeth Council. Confirmed via a press release issued by the council shortly thereafter.
Councillor Peck has been Leader of Lambeth Council since 2012 and leaves to take up a position at the GLA’s new Violence Reduction Unit which has been created to tackle crime in the capital. She will also step down as a councillor, triggering another by-election in Thornton ward. Considered to be on the moderate wing of the Labour Party, she has generally taken a pragmatic approach towards planning and development in the borough and leaves a considerable vacancy.
The new leader will be selected by elected Labour councillors and will not go to the local party membership. This rule will make it more likely that the new leader will come from the ‘moderate’ wing of the party rather than the far left.
The timeline for selection has not yet been released, but here at Cascade we have taken a brief look at the Runners and Riders to become the next Leader of Lambeth Council:
Councillor Matthew Bennett – currently Cabinet Member for Planning, Investment & New Homes and is pro-development having been at the forefront of the estates’ renewal programme in the borough. Councillor Bennett has extensive political networks within the national Labour Party and was formerly Head of Office for Steve Reed MP.
Councillor Jack Hopkins – currently Deputy Leader of the Council (Jobs, Skills and Performance). Councillor Hopkins is also considered to take a pragmatic approach to planning and development and was previously Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Business and Culture.
Councillor Danial Adilypour – not currently a Cabinet Member but is Chair of the Pensions Board and is highly ambitious. Councillor Adilypour has strong ties with the national Labour Party and is close to Tom Watson MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party. Certainly an outsider with ambition.
Councillor Ibrahim Dogus – not currently a Cabinet Member, Councillor Dogus is likely to be the left-wing candidate for the role. A successful local businessman, he is well connected to the current Labour Leadership in City Hall. He may be the Momentum candidate.
POSSIBLE CHANGE IN ENFIELD
A source close to Cascade has suggested that councillors in Enfield are considering mounting a challenge to the leadership of Councillor Nesil Caliskan. Speculation suggests a 70/30 chance of a challenge, with confidence in the current leader low, amidst the backdrop of misjudged councillor selections, failures in procedures and recent events with the reworked Meridian Water regeneration after the masterplan was scrapped last summer.
NEW LONDON REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR LABOUR
Today Hazel Flynn begins her role as the Labour Party’s new London Regional Director. Strongly affiliated with Momentum, she will have an important say over candidate selections including the upcoming GLA trigger ballots and selections – with some big names facing hurdles for reselection.