Cllr Steve Reed will not resign as leader of Lambeth council while he campaigns to be elected as Labour MP for Croydon North.
Cllr Steve Reed, 48, has handed day-to-day control of the borough to his deputy, cllr Jackie Meldrum, but says he will only resign as leader “if and when” he wins the by-election.
Reed, ward councillor for Brixton Hill, was selected as Labour candidate during a close poll of local members on Saturday. The by-election was triggered by the death of veteran Labour MP Malcolm Wicks in September.
He said: “What I have done is to strike a balance that respects both the electors of Croydon North – I am not taking their votes for granted – and the electors of Lambeth so that, if all goes well, there will be a smooth transition.
“There is absolutely no question of me doing two jobs.”
Croydon North is seen as a safe seat for Labour, which won 56% of the vote at the 2010 general election, a majority of 16,483.
Some thought Reed would stand down at a Labour group meeting in Lambeth on Monday, to allow the party to appoint a new council leader. Strong contenders to replace him as leader are thought to include cabinet member for regeneration Lib Peck and cabinet member for neighbourhood services Pete Robbins.
A date for the by-election has not yet been set.
Cllr Reed has failed to return the Brixton Blog’s calls.
Croydon North candidates in full:
- Monster Raving Loony John Cartwright
- National Front Richard Edmonds
- Respect Lee Jasper
- Green Shasha Khan
- UKIP Winston McKenzie
- Liberal Democrat Marisha Ray
- Labour Steve Reed
- Young People’s Party Robin Smith
- Communist Ben Stevenson
- Conservative Andrew Stranack