Corbyn overshadows Labour’s Croydon Central election launch

Brutal battle for Croydon Central gets underway as Labour’s Sarah Jones and incumbent Conservative Gavin Barwell go head to head in critical marginal for an election rematch

by the commentator on 3 May 2017 10:23

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The Croydon Labour party has once again selected Sarah Jones as its candidate in a brutal battle to win Croydon Central. Jones will contest the ultra-marginal seat against local Conservative Gavin Barwell, who won a slender 165 vote majority in 2015.

Local issues in the seat include crime, education and business rates, which are all hot topics for discussion over the coming weeks. 

Jones launched her campaign in the town centre this week, posing for photos with an array of activists.

In one official snap with Labour Council Chief Tony Newman, Jones was apparently ‘photobombed’ by an over-excited Andrew Pelling who was waving a sign and stood on his tiptoes, keen to ensure his face appeared in the official snaps.

Pelling, who now serves as a Labour Councillor, previously held the seat of Croydon Central when he represented the Tories before having the whip withdrawn over serious allegations from his ex-wife.

But the spectre of Pelling isn’t the only concern haunting the Croydon Labour Party.

In a recent interview with local newspaper The Croydon Advertiser Croydon North MP Steve Reed apparently conceded Jeremy Corbyn’s lacklustre leadership could be a problem in the borough.

“We've had popular leaders, and unpopular leaders too – and the party endures,” said Reed.

In contrast Barwell is backed by Prime Minister Theresa May, proposing strong, stable government.

It’s going to be a close call in Croydon Central, but whether the Corbyn factor proves decisive in local voting remains to be seen.

Let the battle begin. 

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