THE noon deadline for Labour councillors to apply for the Camden Council cabinet elections has just passed, but not before a fifth candidate entered the race. Licensing chair Maryam Eslamdoust has asked to be dealt in, answering both the call from group leader Georgia Gould to have a broad church contest for the two vacant slots on the Town Hall’s decision-making executive (Blackwell, Jones are off, not Hai etc) and the plea from Sue Vincent, who entered the race on Wednesday, for more of the Labour group’s women to break up an all-male list.
While these pages have covered some of the backstage politics to all of this, some members of the party who would not necessarily align with Sue and Maryam’s wing of the party do privately admit that it would not be the best look to elect two men next week. Whether that concern extends to votes in a secret ballot, however, remains to be seen.
“I really value the commitment Georgia has given to have an open election for cabinet and the opportunity that fresh leadership gives us to build on Labour’s strong performance in the general election, by working together and utilising talents from all perspectives within our Group and the Labour family,” Cllr Eslamdoust says in an email to the group this lunchtime. “I have always given my all for the borough in my role as Licensing Chair, and I was not on the lookout for a cabinet position, but I do really feel that I have to put myself forward so that the Group has an opportunity to support Georgia’s aim of open and inclusive leadership, by broadening the range of political voices represented in our cabinet.”
Another passage: “I am thankful to Sue for raising the debate on how well our cabinet reflect our borough. The realisation that our cabinet is not currently gender balanced, and was likely to continue to be disproportionately male after this cabinet election, has prompted me to put myself forward – we all know as councillors that there is no sense in worrying from the sidelines if you are not prepared to take action yourself. Therefore I hope that Group will take the opportunity to improve both the gender balance and ethnic diversity of our cabinet, so that it is truly reflective of the people of Camden.”
She runs against Danny Beales, Adam Harrison and Oliver Lewis on Monday evening. Will the group overlook two women supportive of Jeremy Corbyn? Place your bets, now.