Labour’s policy forum elections: Georgia Gould, Sucharita Sethi bid for places

HAVE we worked out council leader Georgia Gould’s politics yet? She is still accused of being an heir to Blair in some quarters (more often by people from outside of Camden, to be honest), in others she is accused of giving away too much to the ‘left’.

This is perhaps why both sides speculate about her one day being challenged for the top job at the Town Hall: the gossipers on the left say it will come from the right frustrated by an accommodating spirit, the gossipers on the ‘right’ say the left will question the strength of her turnaround support for Jeremy Corbyn and want her out at some point. Cllr Gould was it’s worth remembering, elected within the group without challenge – a position of strength which Sarah Hayward was never able to command – so it’s not corridor talk which will bother her too much. The message continues to be judge me on what I do, not who I go on holiday with.

Her politics could become more relevant than Camden pub chat, however, if, as looks very likely, she climbs aboard Labour’s National Policy Forum. She has put herself forward for election to this body, officially described by the panel as the body which ‘shapes Labour’s policy agenda’, as one of the local government reps. The way the internal voting system falls makes it almost certain that she will be elected.

The first some of her councillor colleagues knew about her candidacy was to see her face in their election brochures sent out last week, in which she pledges to raise the profile of how Labour-led councils are responding to austerity.

Cllr Gould may also be joined on the forum by Sucharita Sethi, one of the Labour candidates at the local elections in May. Although introduced by Cllr Gould as the ‘next councillor from Belsize’ during campaign events, she was among the Labour candidates who were crowded out by the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives in that ward. It has not dampened her ambition – she has already run for at least two parliamentary nominations – and now she says can help build a ‘radical’ new manifesto by being on the NPF.

To do so, Ms Sethi will have to win without being on a Momentum-backed slate of candidates doing the rounds, which in the London region does include Yannis Gourtsayannis, the former Holborn and St Pancras member now in Hornsey and Wood Green.

Meanwhile, another Holborn and St Pancras member Rebecca Filer is running in the youth rep elections.

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