Leader: Tessa Jowell’s London calling

Tessa Jowell is the best choice to be Labour's candidate for the London mayoral election.


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On 11 September, the Labour Party will announce who has won the race to be its candidate for the London mayoral election in May 2016.

The field for the contest in London is strong but one candidate stands out: Tessa Jowell, who has built a broad-based movement of support. Polls also indicate that she is best placed to defeat the Conservatives and their likely candidate, Zac Goldsmith, next May.

However, the case for Tessa Jowell extends far beyond her electability. She is a fine communicator who has been far less divisive than many of her contemporaries in the party. She has an excellent record in government, most notably in founding Sure Start, the national nurture and childhood programme, and in helping to bring the 2012 Olympic Games to London. Through her Olympics experience she has developed good relations with business, which are essential in the global metropolis of London.

Her campaign for mayor has shown she has the right priorities for the capital: addressing the housing crisis, concentrating on disadvantaged children’s early years, grappling with entrenched inequality, while being open-minded about business and commerce.

Labour is poised to elect two men to the positions of leader and deputy leader of the national party. We welcomed the election of Kezia Dugdale as the new leader of Scottish Labour, and it would be cheering, too, if Tessa Jowell were to win such an important role in British politics. She is the best choice for both Labour and London.

This article appears in the 27 August 2015 issue of the New Statesman, Isis and the new barbarism