"Mayors push the Boundaries at Conference
By Luke Major
This week, Parliament rises for the Party Conference recess period.
High on the agenda will be the English Boundary Commission’s recommendation to reduce the number of MPs in Parliament from 650 to 600. Opinions are still mixed on whether these recommendations will be approved by Parliament, but should it pass, it will be more a reflection of the Labour leadership’s desire to begin a mass reselection of its MPs than the merits of reforming the House of Commons.
Elsewhere in London, the Mayoral election is effectively underway. Sadiq’s trigger ballot (the process by which he will be reselected by the Labour Party) started last month and the result will be announced during the Party Conference period. There is no candidate or any opposition organising against him, so expect Sadiq to have a clear run.
The Conservatives are set to choose from one of three mayoral candidates, London Assembly members Shaun Bailey and Andrew Boff and Ealing councillor Joy Morrissey.
Shaun Bailey is hotly tipped to take the nomination and is widely considered to be the ‘obvious choice,’ with his background, upbringing and political priorities giving an impression that couldn’t be further away from Zac Goldsmith in 2016. He has also been endorsed by Michael Gove, who is at least popular among party members.
Andrew Boff is probably the strongest candidate technically. He has a forensic knowledge of how London politics works and, should he be selected, then his campaign would arguably be the most effective at scrutinising Sadiq’s record. However, in his manifesto launched this week, he has pledged to scrap affordable housing targets, a very tough sell to the electorate.
Joy Morrissey, who stood against Rupa Huq in the seat of Ealing Central and Acton, last summer, has done and said all the right things since her unsuccessful and personally challenging campaign. Whilst initially the least well known of the candidates, she has been the most visible since being shortlisted, winning an endorsement from Justine Greening MP. Against the other two candidates, her approach to housing and crime seems to be the most palatable for a London-wide audience.
All eyes now turn to the Party Conferences, where both Labour and the Conservatives will not only be thrashing out the key issues of the day, but also the very future of their organisations. Cascade will have the team present at all three, meeting with key politicians and discussing the issues that matter most to your business and the property industry. Expect to hear from us again, soon.