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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Nicholas Cecil

Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Diane Abbott among dozen of Leftwingers standing in London at election

Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Diane Abbott are among a dozen Leftwingers from the Labour movement standing as candidates in London at the general election.

The ex-Labour leader, 75, is in a showdown in Islington North, where he is standing as an independent against Labour’s candidate, local councillor Praful Nargund.

A YouGov MRP poll on Wednesday showed Mr Nargund ahead but Mr Corbyn within touching distance of pulling off a shock victory as he was only five points behind so the pollster put this contest down as a “toss up” as to who will win.

Mr Corbyn’s shadow Home Secretary Ms Abbott, 70, is standing again to be MP in Hackney North and Stoke Newington, after winning a furious row with Labour chiefs accused of trying to bar her from being the party’s candidate.

She became Britain’s first black female MP when she was elected in 1987, was suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party in a row over anti-semitism last year, but then had the whip restored.

Mr Corbyn’s shadow Chancellor Mr McDonnell, 72, is standing in Hayes and Harlington, a seat that the veteran Leftwinger has represented since 1997.

The Evening Standard has compiled an interactive map of all the battleground and other contests in London on July 4.

Together, Mr Corbyn, Mr McDonnell and Ms Abbott have been leading figures in the socialist Campaign Group for many years.

Leftwinger Emma Dent Coad, who was MP for Kensington from 2017 to 2019, is standing as an independent in the new seat of Kensington and Bayswater.

Many in the next generation of Labour Leftwingers are seen as less hardline and more pragmatic.

They include Barry Gardiner, Labour’s candidate in Brent West, an environment minister under Tony Blair’s administration, Dawn Butler who is standing in Brent East and who served in Gordon Brown’s government, and Andy Slaughter, seeking to be MP in the new seat of Hammersmith and Chiswick.

Kate Osamor, who was shadow international development secretary under Mr Corbyn’s leadership, is standing to be MP in Edmonton and Winchmore Hill.

Rosena Allin-Khan, who was shadow mental health minister until last September, is seeking re-election in Tooting.

Bell Ribeiro-Addy, who was elected MP for Streatham in 2019, is Labour’s candidate in the new seat of Clapham and Brixton Hill.

Apsana Begum, who had faced speculation that she could be blocked from standing for Labour as Sir Keir Starmer shifted the party to the Right, is its candidate for Poplar and Limehouse.Leftwing economist Faiza Shaheen is standing as an independent in Chingford and Woodford Green, after being ditched as the Labour candidate in a row over social media posts.

The Tories have sought to tie Sir Keir to the Corbyn era and the new leader struggled during an appearance on the BBC’s Question Time on Thursday night to explain why he previously said that Mr Corbyn, when he was leader, would have made a “great Prime Minister”.

Labour’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner was grilled on ITV’s Good Morning Britain over why Sir Keir had given such vocal support for Mr Corbyn, when he was in his shadow Cabinet, ahead of Labour’s election disaster in 2019.

She said: "We all feel a lot of guilt over the fact that we didn't put a programme forward that the electorate would vote for and I think that's why Keir feels uncomfortable.

"We've changed the Labour Party since then because we need a Labour Party that's going to serve the British people because we've seen what happens when we had the Tory chaos and we take some responsibility for that because we lost the election."

The Labour Party in many areas of London is more Leftwing than in some other regions.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is seen as on the soft Left of the party.

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