Jeremy Corbyn supporters oust longest serving Labour mayor

Posted On: 
16th March 2018

Supporters of Jeremy Corbyn were handed a boost today as they ousted the longest serving Labour mayor in the country.

Momentum backed Rokhsana Fiaz in the race to be Labour's Newham mayoral candidate
PA Images

Sir Robin Wales was deselected as a candidate to retake the job he has held in Newham for the past 23 years.

Instead rival Rokhsana Fiaz won the race by 861 votes to 503 to fight the upcoming mayoral election in May.

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Sir Robin - who played a prominent role fighting the hard left of the party during the battles of the 1980s - issued a statement congratulating his opponent on her victory.

He added: “Being a Labour mayor has been a great privilege and I want to thank all of those who have been with me throughout this journey, and all of those that helped on my campaign.

“I am so proud of everything that my administration has achieved.”

Ms Fiaz - who was backed by the pro-Corbyn campaign group Momentum - meanwhile tweeted: “We’ve won!"

Labour MP and Corbyn critic Mike Gapes took to Twitter to thank Sir Robin for his service to the party and congratulate his opponent.

Ilford North MP Wes Streeting did the same.

Tory MP Neil O’Brien meanwhile accused the Labour left of being “on a mission to expel all moderate Labour leaders”.

In an interview with the Huffington Post last month, Sir Robin took a thinly-veiled swipe at new Labour members who had signed up to support Mr Corbyn.

“The longer you’ve been in the party the more likely you are to support me because you’ve seen the changes in Newham,” he said.

“One of the problems with some of the younger people coming in is they don’t realise how radical we are.”

Labour members who joined after June 2016 were unable to vote in the selection ballot - meaning a large number of new supporters of the party leader could not take part.