Welcome to AltNewsMedia’s exclusive coverage of the Lewisham East by-election triggered by the resignation of Labour Party MP Heidi Alexander who has gone to work with London Mayor Sadiq Khan. This page will be updated regularly as news comes in from the South East London constituency… remember to share this page with your social media communities…
17 MAY 2018 – GREEN PARTY
Despite holding a ‘hustings’ two days ago, the Lewisham Greens seem to be a little shy of announcing the result of candidate selection. In the last General Election, the Green candidate received 1.7% of votes cast.
16 May 2018 – DEMOCRATS & VETERANS CANDIDATE
Following this evening’s hustings in Lewisham, the London party membership has decided that Massimo DiMambro should be the Democrats and Veterans prospective parliamentary candidate for the by-election to be held on 14th June.
Massimo is an excellent local candidate who lives in the constituency and will be working hard, both for the party, but above all, for his constituents.
Action days and canvassing will be organised. If you are able to come to the constituency to help, please make contact with Massimo either directly or via the party chairman.
This is the greatest opportunity to date to communicate to Britain how Direct Democracy can be embraced to make Britain a truly great nation one again.
16 May 2018 – THREE LABOUR CANDIDATES ALL PHONE-A-FRIEND
An influential imam has lost a libel action against the BBC after a judge ruled he had promoted violence. London-based Shakeel Begg sued after being accused on the Sunday Politics show of espousing extreme beliefs. The judge said Lewisham Islamic Centre’s chief imam had hidden his true views behind a cloak of respectability. Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said he “clearly promotes and encourages violence in support of Islam and espouses a series of extremist Islamic positions”. “On occasions when it has suited him…he has shed the cloak of respectability and revealed the horns of extremism.”
Sakina Sheikh, the Momentum-backed candidate, shared a platform with Begg at the Lewisham Islamic Centre.
Janet Daby, also a Lewisham East candidate, took part in a panel discussion with Begg at Lewisham Islamic Centre.
Brenda Dacres, the third prospective candidate; joined Begg at a Unite Against Fascism rally.
Seems as though three of the Labour candidates aren’t too choosy when it comes to speaking companions. There again, when their Leader is really buddies with Hamas, no-one seems to have noticed, or cared.
16 May 2018 – LABOUR PARTY CANDIDATES FOR LEWISHAM
The internal competition to be the Lewisham Labour candidate has been clarified. According to a national newspaper, Momentum’s national coordinating group is likely to back Lewisham councillor Sakina Sheikh, a former student campaigner who has close links with the grassroots group. A Momentum source suggested the group wanted to back a candidate with local credentials. “The local Momentum section heavily backs Sakina and it feels like she will get the national backing, as they are keen to make sure it’s a local candidate with the endorsement of local members,” the source said.
The Unite Union has already formally backed Islington councillor Claudia Webbe, a member of Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) and a former adviser to Ken Livingstone. Unite announced on Tuesday it was backing Webbe, the more experienced candidate, saying she would be “a huge asset in parliament”. The trade union said Webbe was “a lifelong socialist who tirelessly fights the corner of working people, and for justice for those let down by our political system”.
A further list of two more names has been added to the ‘Long List’ according to another online website. They are Marina Ahmad and Mendora Ogbogbo, but these are yet to be confirmed by the local Labour Party.
15 May 2018 – THE LABOUR PARTY IS TO PUT FORWARD AN ALL-WOMEN ‘BLACK & MINORITY ETHNIC’ SHORTLIST
The internal Party contest for the Lewisham East By-election candidates is set to be between Janet Daby, Brenda Dacres, Sakina Sheikh or Claudia Webbe.
14 May 2018 – UKIP NEXT OUT OF THE BLOCKS
London Assembly member David Kurten will be the UKIP candidate in Lewisham east, the party announces. In a statement the ex-Chemistry teacher pointed to the “unprecedented rise” in knife crime and terrorism in the capital as evidence that the two main parties couldn’t be trusted, adding “A vote for UKIP will send a strong message that the people are fed up with virtue signalling and want policing and crime and support for families taken seriously.”
13 May 2018 – LABOUR FRONTRUNNER WITHDRAWS
One of the early frontrunners to succeed Heidi Alexander on 14 June as Labour Party candidate has withdrawn from the contest. The development comes after it emerges that Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, had previously equated the treatment of Palestinians to “Nazi persecution” on Holocaust Memorial Day. The 44-year-old co-founder and executive director of UK Black Pride had controversially claimed that the Israel-Palestine conflict should be considered alongside the systematic extermination of more than six million Jews during the Holocaust.
In a statement, Ms Opoku-Gyimah said she was withdrawing from the race due to an ‘unexpected family situation’ following a backlash over her Facebook remarks.
12 May 2018 – FOR BRITAIN AND LIB DEMS ANNOUNCE CANDIDATES
The For Britain Movement is quick off the mark with perhaps a surprise announcement as party leader Anne Marie Waters, who contested the seat for UKIP in 2015, is confirmed as the initial candidate standing in the race. The party makes an early statement saying they intend to champion the working people of Lewisham East who have been “taken for granted and used for votes by the Labour Party time and time again.”
Liberal Democrat members are the next to make their choice with former Women’s Equality Party member Lucy Salek revealed to be the second name on the ballot paper. She is described as a specialist on working with faith-based organisations and communities for development and is the author of Working in Conflict: A Faith Based Toolkit for Islamic Relief. She is the chair of Lewisham refugee charity AFRIL and describes herself on Twitter as “one of those Lib Dem remoaners” which could potentially make her a popular choice in her hometown.
12 May 2018 – WHAT TYPE OF CONSTITUENCY IS LEWISHAM EAST?
Around 60 per cent of people in Lewisham East are of working age (25-64) with almost 28,000 over 65s in the borough, lower than the national average.
There is no formal data on how Lewisham East voted in the EU referendum however the borough as a whole was a high Remain area (70 per cent – with 86,995 votes). That doesn’t necessarily mean this will be an easy battleground for the Liberal Democrats though, with the party securing their lowest ever percentage vote in Lewisham East (four per cent) in 2017, which was even lower than their pre-referendum vote share of 6 per cent. Added to that, UKIP came third in 2015 with nine per cent of the vote and it also performed fairly well in the south of the borough during the council elections in 2014. After their recent collapse at the locals, could UKIP be targeting a respectable result here to try and change the tide? Our sources understand the newly formed For Britain Movement may also be considering standing a candidate.
At the most recent local elections, on 3 May, these wards returned a Labour clean sweep with 21 councillors out of 21. It has not always been a safe Labour seat, with the Conservative Party holding it for nine years under then Sports Minister Colin Moynihan. But Bridget Prentice won the seat back for Labour in 1992 and it has stayed that way ever since with Heidi Alexander coming in during 2010.
11 May 2018 – ONLINE BATTLEGROUND IS RIGHT HERE ON ANM!
AltNewsMedia will have reporters on the ground and will be live feed of the whole campaign. So fear not, you won’t miss a thing! All candidates will be invited to take part and submit their updates from the campaign trail – think of it as a ‘web hustings’, if you like. And even more importantly we’ll be asking you, local residents, as well as people with a general interest in politics, to have you say – whatever side of the political spectrum your allegiances lie!
10 May 2018 – DATE SET FOR LEWISHAM EAST BY-ELECTION
Labour Party MP Heidi Alexander will stand down from her role as a Member of Parliament after being confirmed as London’s Deputy Mayor for Transport – triggering a by-election in her Lewisham East constituency. It is considered a safe Labour seat having remained red since 1992 and they currently have a 21,213 majority.