Two senior Labour Parliamentarians have added their endorsements to Christian Wolmar’s campaign to be selected by his party to be its candidate for London Mayor.
Tom Harris and Lord Berkeley have added their voices to the novelist Will Self in calling on Londoners to back Wolmar.
Harris, for 14 years a Glasgow MP, said, “For the sake of our politics and our party, I hope Christian succeeds. Because he deserves to.”
Lord Berkeley has been a Labour spokesperson on transport in the House of Lords and he is the secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group.
Today, Tony Berkeley said, “Christian’s knowledge of transport in and around London is unrivalled. It covers all sectors – walking, cycling, busses, all types of trains, the needs of less able people and of course road traffic and safety issues so important to keeping London’s economy going.
“He is also committed to encouraging sustainable transport to tackle London’s appalling air quality record, as well as meeting the social and transport needs of those who keep London’s economy thriving. Christian Wolmar as Mayor would transform London into the kind of environmentally friendly and attractive city in which its economy would really thrive.
“I urge all those who share his vision to support him.”
One of those is Harris, who served as a junior transport minister in Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s governments. He said, “Christian is a friend of mine. But at the start of our relationship, when I was the railways minister and he was a constant presence at events where I was speaking, he was a pain in the backside. If there’s one thing ministers – and their officials – can’t stand it’s journalists who actually know about their subjects and who are willing to ask the most awkward, difficult questions.
“Such individuals are few and far between. But luckily for Labour, Christian is one of them. His analysis of what went wrong with rail privatisation will strike a chord with virtually every party member. He’s affable, intense, knowledgeable and absolutely committed to London and to Labour. He’s also, at least in comparison with me, dangerously Left-wing, so that helps.
“His one drawback is that he’s neither a sitting MP nor a well-known stand-up comedian. So what? Relying on either of those positions so far hasn’t drummed up the political leadership we so badly need in the Era of Boris.”
This week, Booker Prize short-listed novelist Will Self leant his support to the Wolmar for London campaign, saying, “We need a London Mayor who has a truly socialistic outlook: one which encompasses all Londoners, wherever they may have originated, or where they may live in this great city. We need a London Mayor impervious to the blandishments of traditional powerbrokers, and capable of resisting the turbulence occasioned by the international capital flows cascading through The City.
“In Christian Wolmar I believe Labour – and Londoners in general – have such a candidate.”
Christian Wolmar is the only non-career politician on Labour’s short-list for party selection to run for Mayor of London next year.
Wolmar is a lifelong Labour member, a journalist and author, who has been campaigning for three years to be selected as his party’s candidate in next year’s City Hall elections.
For £3, supporters can register before August 12 to vote for Christian Wolmar in the Labour Party’s selection process. To sign-up, click here: http://www.wolmarforlondon.co.uk/vote