Newham mayor faces deselection as he seeks fifth term
Britain’s longest serving mayor, Sir Robin Wales, is facing a deselection fight as he pursues an unprecedented fifth term at the helm of the borough that hosted the London Olympics.
The Labour politician narrowly won re-election in a 2016 trigger ballot.
However, that result has been rescinded after a legal challenge and claims of irregularities.
Sir Robin faces competition from Newham councillor Rokhsana Fiaz, who is backed by Momentum, in an open ballot for the role of Mayor in May 3rd elections.
Some 59 of the borough’s 60 councillors are Labour and the party is expected to reveal who members want to run for the top job later this month.
Newham has also seen a huge surge in Labour membership since Jeremy Corbyn took over as leader, with over 2000 new people joining since 2015.
Sir Robin, who was been Newham’s mayor for the last 23 years, pointed to his record of freezing council tax for nine years, creating 35,000 jobs in the borough and the Every Child initiative.
The deselection fight comes after Haringey Council chief Claire Kober, announced her resignation following an internal row with Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC).
Ms Kober stood down after the NEC intervened in a controversial housing scheme, despite the Labour-run council’s support for the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV).
She accused Momentum members of undemocratic interference, sexism and bullying.