Greenwich councillor Chris Lloyd has missed out on being selected as Labour’s parliamentary candidate for South Swindon – after losing to the former Lewisham East MP Heidi Alexander.
Lloyd, who represented the old Peninsula ward for eight years until May when he switched to the new West Thamesmead seat, made it to a shortlist of three for the seat, one of Labour’s targets for the next general election.
Labour members in the constituency picked Alexander, who was brought up in the town, after a meeting held this morning. A former Lewisham councillor, she was an MP from 2010 to 2018, after which she became Sadiq Khan’s deputy mayor for transport – a role which included overseeing preparations for the Silvertown Tunnel. She stepped down at City Hall in December.
“While I am disappointed I didn’t win, I know that Heidi will be an amazing candidate, beat the Tories, and be a stellar MP for South Swindon,” Lloyd, who has family connections with the town, told his followers on Twitter.
Her selection propels Alexander – who was briefly shadow health secretary under Jeremy Corbyn – into an election battle that Labour must win if it is to dislodge the Conservatives at Westminster. Sir Robert Buckland, who recently accepted a job from Boris Johnson as Welsh secretary, is the sitting MP with a majority of 6,625.
Lloyd was one of two Greenwich councillors to have sought selection elsewhere in the country as Labour prepares for the next election. Greenwich Peninsula councillor Denise Scott-McDonald was shortlisted for Derby North, but lost out earlier this month.
Few Greenwich councillors have made it to Westminster, but the only one to have been appointed to a cabinet position is currently the favourite to win the Conservative leadership contest and be the next prime minister – Liz Truss, who represented Eltham South from 2006 to 2010 and still lives in the borough.
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