Islington councillor Claudia Webbe replaces Keith Vaz as Labour Leicester East candidate
The Bunhill ward councillor has not decided if she will quit Islington yet
12 November, 2019 — By Calum Fraser
COUNCILLOR Claudia Webbe has been selected as the Labour candidate in Leicester, but she has kept her position as Islington’s environment chief for now.
Cllr Webbe has been a prominent and sometimes controversial figure in Islington in her role as the cabinet member for Environment and Transport.
She has been selected in the Leicester East constituency she was born in after incumbent MP Keith Vaz announced he would be stepping down.
Cllr Webbe, who has held the Bunhill seat in the south of the borough since 2010, told the Tribune: “It is too early for me to make a comment about my position in Islington.
“I am just very proud to have the opportunity to represent Leicester East, the area where I grew up and where my family still lives.
“My parents are not alive to witness this but my aunts and uncles are and they say they are proud of me.”
Mr Vaz has held the Leicester East seat for 32 years after taking the seat from the Tories and had a majority of more than 20,000 at the last election.
Leicester voted 54 per cent to 46 to Leave the EU in the referendum and Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party will stand a candidate in the seat.
“Whatever the Brexit party wants to throw at me we will keep them out of Leicester,” Cllr Webbe said.
“And I will continue to take the fight to the Tories who are hellbent on smashing up workers rights and do not care about the communities that will bare the brunt of Brexit.”
As the environment chief since 2014, Cllr Webbe has borne the brunt of vocal and active local lobby groups.
Asked about her experience in the Islington hot-seat, she said: “I am a community campaigner and I come from community activism.
“I have taken on several roles that have had to deal with and represent vocal communities, so I did not find the challenge that difficult as cabinet member for the environment and transport.”
If Cllr Webbe wins the Leicester East seat on December 12 a by-election is more than likely to be triggered for her Bunhill seat.