And then there were four: Ilford Labour MP candidates selected but who do you prefer?

Votes will be announced on October 5. Picture: Rui Vieira

Votes will be announced on October 5. Picture: Rui Vieira - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

February 18 2019 might not mean that much to you, but if you live in Ilford South maybe it should.

For after 27 years, MP for the area Mike Gapes quit the Labour Party and joined the Independent group.

Roll on seven months and Redbridge Labour is looking for a new prospective candidate to fill the red shaped hole, should there be an election.

But who are the politicians shortlisted and what do they stand for?

Jas Athwal:

Born in Punjab, India and relocated to Ilford when he was sevend. Lives in Seven Kings with his family. Background: Redbridge Council leader, and councillor for Mayfield ward.

Comments about Redbridge: "Ilford is my home, I have lived here for 48 years, I married my wife and sent my four children to local schools here. You put your trust in me as leader of the council and I've worked hard to repay that trust, investing in Ilford and reversing years of Tory neglect."

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Why he should be elected: "You are my neighbours and I will always fight for you. We need a Labour government to fund our schools, save our NHS and make our streets safe. As your MP I will help deliver that Labour government. I've led campaigns to save King George A&E, kept every library open and all our schools are rated Good or Outstanding. I've driven the Tories out of Ilford South and led Labour to win our first majority on the council, As your MP I can deliver for Ilford at a national level."

Sonia Nabila Klein Grew up in Ilford South and also ran a business in the area. Lives in Wales.

Background: Strategy adviser with more than 16 years of transatlantic experience.

Comments about Redbridge: "Ilford South has been my home, the place I raised my children, worked, volunteered and ran a business. I have experience, local knowledge and empathy to fight for you in Westminister."

Why she should be elected: "With all the Labour Party hobbled by faction and infighting, I am a proven problem solver and alliance builder. With a passion for social justice, I champion traditional Labour values in all activities."

Syeda Rahim: Lives in St Albans.

Background: Previously Labour Party's first British Asian woman on St Albans Council and currently a specialist caseworker for Citizen's Advice.

Comments about Redbridge: "I have close family and friends in the borough. I love the vibrancy and the diversity of the borough and I know the local issues affecting people of all social and economic backgrounds. I will use my local authority, community activism and human rights specialism and take local people's concerns to parliament."

Why she should be selected: "It's time for a fresh face, I am a grassroots woman who is a socialist firebrand. I take local issues to parliamentarians to change polices and improve people's lives. I will be vocal and a powerful advocate and representative for all in the borough."

Sam Tarry: Has spent around 27 years in and around Ilford South since moving here aged 2.

Background: Part of Jeremy Corbyn's second leadership campaign, Barking and Dagenham councillor for eight years.

Comments on Redbridge: "Ilford is the place that has shaped me and my outlook on life from my first job working as a cleaner at Redbridge College as a 15-year-old to stacking shelves at Ilford Sainsbury's and working in call centres to pay my way through university."

Why he should be selected: "For the first time in decades we have the opportunity to select a new MP here in Ilford South. I am putting myself forward because I believe Ilford needs someone with deep local roots in the community with the proven experience to represent us on the national stage and deliver the change our country desperately needs."

The candidate will be selected on October 5.

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