Labour councillor will not stand as a candidate in 2018 elections for new Redbridge ward
- Credit: Archant
A sitting Labour councillor has lost out from standing in next year’s council elections to a candidate from Redbridge Momentum.
Cllr Lloyd Duddridge, who currently represents Roding ward, told the Recorder that he was stopped by “a concerted effort from a faction of the party to make sure I was not able to stand”.
Cllr Duddridge, Labour’s first councillor in the Woodford area for more than 10 years, was voted down at a selection meeting for the new Churchfields ward on Sunday night.
As he was standing in a new ward – Churchfields is taking part of Roding and Church End – he wasn’t automatically reselected, despite being a sitting councillor.
Cllr Duddridge said he was “frustrated as I’ve enjoyed representing the people of the area”.
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“I think it’s a strange one. I’ve always been on the left of the party,” he continued.
“I think it’s because I’ve been friends with people across the whole spectrum of the Labour Party.”
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People on Twitter called for the deselection of Ilford North’s MP Wes Streeting, who Cllr Duddridge campaigned for during the past two general elections, after he was first elected in 2015.
Cllr Duddridge explained he wouldn’t be standing for a different seat in another part of the borough.
“These are my people, my streets, this is the place that I want to represent,” he said.
“I’ve still got another seven months as a councillor, don’t write my obituary just yet.”
Cllr Duddridge said he wanted to help Charlie Brown’s roundabout get pedestrian crossings, and also try to save King George Hospital’s A&E.
“I’m more Labour now than ever,” Cllr Duddridge added.
“We’ve got a fantastic leader, one of the best in the country, and brilliant MPs with a big future in the party.”
Redbridge’s council leader Cllr Jas Athwal said he was “saddened” to hear the news.
“He is a very hard working councillor, certainly one of the borough’s councillors who single handedly won us Roding ward,” the Labour group leader said.
“I am saddened as he is someone who works so hard for residents.”
Syed E Siddiqi, a co-ordinator at Redbridge Momentum who was selected as a candidate for the ward, denied the claims.
He said: “We can categorically say that there was absolutely no ploy or ‘concerted effort’ by Redbridge Momentum or our members to prevent Mr Duddridge from being selected as a councillor candidate in Churchfields ward.
“We can also confirm that Councillor Duddridge is not and never has been a sitting councillor in Churchfields ward so it is logically impossible for him to have been deselected as he was never 'selected' in the first place.
“Mr Duddridge is also not a member of Churchfields nor a resident of the ward.”
The Redbridge Council elections are to be held on May 3.
Editor's note: This article was updated with comment and an amendment to the headline on January 4 2018.