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  1. Politics
21 August 2015

There’s only one choice for London: it has to be Tessa Jowell

I'm a proud Londoner and I’m backing Tessa because she is the outstanding candidate to be Mayor and to lead our city.

By Chuka Umunna

London and the Labour Party have an awful lot in common. Open, tolerant and diverse, and at our best we can lead the world. So it’s no surprise that in politics you will often hear people refer to London as a Labour city.

But they used to say Scotland was a Labour country.

Complacency in politics always leads to defeat. And I’m sad to say defeat is a familiar taste for the London Labour party. We haven’t won a major election since 2005. That’s a lot of Labour defeats for a Labour city.

So Labour needs to win next year. And just as Labour needs to win the Mayoralty, London needs a Labour Mayor.

Our city is growing fast. By 2030 we’ll be a mega city of 10 million people, yet today it can feel like our city can hardly cope with 8 million. The housing crisis is getting worse all the time, one in six of our young people can’t find a job in postcodes where growing industries like tech report skills shortages holding them back.

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Our transport infrastructure is over-burdened and expensive and our public service are struggling under the weight of falling investment and growing demand.

Of course all of this can be summed up in one word – inequality. A Tory Mayor won’t focus on tackling inequality – that’s why we have to win next year. Millions of Londoners are relying on Labour to win and deliver.  

That’s part of the reason I’m supporting Tessa to be the next Labour Mayor of London.

I’m a proud Londoner and I’m backing Tessa because she is the outstanding candidate to be Mayor and to lead our city.

I’m backing her not only because of the policies that she has so clearly set out to deal with the crisis facing London, but also because of the way she has run her campaign in building a movement to build a fairer, more equal and prosperous London, a city of great opportunity but huge inequalities we must address. Tessa is running an open and optimistic campaign – key to my politics – attracting many young people who have never been politically active before who want to play their part in building One London.  Her formidable network of over 1,5000 volunteers with an average age in their mid-20s is testament to this.

So, for me, it has to be Tessa for Labour in London. She is the Labour contender best placed to beat any Tory and she has the policies for London that focus on opportunity and not narrow tribalism which turns so many off from politics.

London needs a Labour Mayor who can deliver. She is the candidate with an inspiring vision of a better future and, from Sure Start to the Olympics, Londoners know Tessa can deliver, and Labour supporters know she’s a winner. I’m not just giving Tessa my vote, I’m excited to be campaigning with her and giving her every bit of my support. She can do great things if we get behind her and that’s exactly what I intend to do by playing a full role in her campaign.

So to undecided Labour members, supporters and affiliates I say this:

If you want to select the Labour candidate most likely to beat the Tories next year – it has to be Tessa. Poll after poll shows she’s the only Labour candidate who beats the leading Tory and we know she is popular across London

If you want to select the Labour candidate most likely to be able to deliver for Londoners – it has to be Tessa. Time and again, Tessa has delivered for the people of this city. She’s not interested in macho posturing she’s interested in getting results and delivering for her community.

And if you want to select the Labour candidate with the best vision – yep, it has to be Tessa. One London is exactly the type of city I want to live in. Where everyone has a stake and everyone has a chance to succeed. A positive, open optimistic city where we help young people from the first 1,000 days to their first day at work to ensure that no-one slips between the cracks.

However you look at it, for London and for Labour Tessa is the right choice. 


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