Above: Tulip Siddiq, Labour's candidate to fight the next general election in Hampstead and Kilburn. Below: the emergency services arrive outside Mazenod Social Club
Published: 14 July, 2013
by RICHARD OSLEY
LABOUR has turned to Tulip Siddiq to defend parliamentary ground in Hampstead and Kilburn following Glenda Jackson's decision to retire.
The Camden councillor, whose aunt is the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, won an internal vote of members in the hired hall at the Mazenod Social Club this afternoon.
She beat her council colleague Sally Gimson and Hackney councillor Sophie Linden.
The private meeting had got off to the worst possible start when a clash outside led to police and an ambulance being called. Housing protesters had demanded to see Labour council leader Sarah Hayward, who had yet to arrive. It is then claimed a party member head-butted a demonstrator, who was wearing a UNITE union T-shirt, before later apologising.
The ambulance took more than an hour to arrive despite repeated requests for assistance from two police officers outside the venue. The injured man was treated in the ambulance.
Inside, the meeting carried on with the three candidates spending half an hour each addressing 250 members with one last plea for their vote. A further 125 or so voted by post.
At around 6.15pm, Cllr Siddiq, the Town Hall's leisure chief, was declared the winner after a second round of voting. The figures are said to have been emphatic in her favour.
She said afterwards: "I'm delighted but the hard work starts at 9 o'clock tomorrow morning. I am determined to defend this seat for Labour. I think people picked me because I was the local councillor with experience of national policy."
The Conservatives already have their candidate for the Hampstead and Kilburn constituency in place. Simon Marcus is trying to reverse a 42-vote loss for the Tories in 2010.
The Liberal Democrats will pick a fresh candidate on Thursday after initial choice Emily Frith aborted her campaign within weeks of being selected, telling members she had found a "dream job" elsewhere.