By Kaye Wiggins
Steve Reed, the leader of Lambeth council, will stand for election as the MP for Croydon North.
He was chosen as the Labour Party’s candidate at a selection meeting today.
The area is seen as a safe seat for Labour, which won 56% of the vote at the 2010 general election.
It means Reed stands a good chance of becoming an MP when the by-election is held, due to be on 29 November.
Reed, who has led Lambeth council since 2006, is the driving force behind the authority’s “co-operative council” agenda. It is not yet clear who would replace him at the council if he became an MP.
Reed has held ambitions to be an MP for some time. In 2008 he stood against Chuka Umunna for selection as Labour’s candidate for the Streatham parliamentary seat.
Reed is set to stand against Brixton-based Lee Jasper in the Croydon North by-election. Jasper is vice chair of the Lambeth Community Police Consultative Group (CPCG), and represents George Galloway’s Respect party.
The by-election was triggered by the death of Labour MP Malcolm Wicks in September, aged 65.
UPDATE: According to Labour List, the result was “incredibly close”, with Reed’s opponent Val Shawcross leading in the first preference vote by 88-87. The website says a recount put Reed ahead on 89-87, and that once remaining votes were redistributed Reed won by just 97-96.
More to follow…