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Who will be Lib Dem candidate for London mayor?

Michael Crick | 15:07 UK time, Friday, 30 July 2010

Lib Dem bigwigs in London would ideally like to decide on their next candidate for mayor this autumn, which would give them an 18-month run up to the next election in May 2012.

The trouble is that the only real name to declare so far is Lembit Opik. But many Lib Dems are concerned that he's become too much of a comic figure in recent years - hence his shock defeat in Montgomeryshire at the general election.

Opik, who's since taken to the comedy circuit, argues that if Boris Johnson can be mayor, then so can he.

Another possibility might be Susan Kramer, who stood for the job in 2000, but she's an election "loser" too.

What's more she might be hoping that the controversy over Zac Goldsmith's expenses might give her a chance of regaining her seat in Richmond.

So how about Duwayne Brooks instead, some Lib Dems are asking.

"That's a familiar name," I hear you say. "Where have I heard of him?"

Brooks was the teenage friend of Stephen Lawrence who witnessed his brutal murder by a gang of racist thugs in Eltham, south London, in 1993.

In a by-election last year, Brooks was elected as a Liberal Democrat councillor in Lewisham.

But after their experience with Brian Paddick in 2008 some Lib Dems may conclude you need substantial political experience, more than a familiar name and a good reputation, to succeed in mayoral elections.


  • Comment number 1.

    When Labour was seeking a candidate in 1999, Tony Blair used it as a way of getting Frank Dobson out of the cabinet. Maybe this could work the other way round? Perhaps a Lib Dem cabinet minister, not overwhelmingly delighted and comfortable working with the Tories, might use this as a reason to resign from the government? Ideally, a Lib Dem cabinet minister in a London area seat (eg Twickenham), one who is extremely well known and is popular in London and the country, a really big star to take on Boris ... can't think of anyone who fits the bill though!

  • Comment number 2.

    Paddick was, to put things mildly, a terrible candidate. But does any Lib Dem candidate stand a chance against Boris? I would suggest that the Lib Dems focus on the forthcoming elections they have a chance of winning, whenever the coalition gets round to having elected mayors in our great cities.

  • Comment number 3.


    He will be beloved of Dave, chosen by Dave, annointed by Dave, installed by Dave and cleave only unto Dave.

    Nick can't fix it.

  • Comment number 4.

    Simon Hughes is radical enough.

  • Comment number 5.

    I don't think Vince has the right personality for it, and I don't think he could be convinced to do it. As much as Clegg might want rid of him.

    As for Simon Hughes, I think he could make a good Mayor, but I think he suffers from the fact that he probably wouldn't win, and also the Lib Dems _need_ him in parliament. He's essentially the leader of the Lib Dem backbenchers, and has an important job to do keeping the party relevant, and not just making up the numbers in a Tory Government.

  • Comment number 6.

    Clegg to get rid of Vince?? He is the only fig leaf of respect the LibDems have left....Clegg has made the biggest mistake of his life and he will have the prospect of a lifetime on the backbenches, a lonely Joe Grimmond repenting at much delightful..

  • Comment number 7.

    Who cares ?


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