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161105-labour-rosetteAgreed.

I don’t know Ellie Cumbo, but she makes all the right points here.

Zac Goldsmith was a disaster for his constituents – voting the wrong way on the EU, local government, human rights, education, the NHS and who knows how many other vile Tory policies.

Just about the only thing he got right was his resignation.

Labour can’t leave it to the Liberal Democrats to make these points. They are almost as bad as the Conservatives, having supported their government during the Coalition years.

Labour must make these points – on the doorstep and in the media.

Because Labour should seize every chance it has to win.

When I saw from my trusty Twitter feed that our party was seriously considering not standing a candidate against Zac Goldsmith, I thought my head was going to explode. Even though the case was being made by people I hugely respect, I felt immediately that that would be the wrong decision for people in Richmond Park, and for Labour.

Goldsmith resigned because of the threat posed to the environment by Heathrow expansion (it isn’t clear, of course, what alternative policies he supports to boost jobs and growth). But in voting for Brexit, unlike a whopping 72 per cent of his constituents, he has happily waved through the biggest threat in his political lifetime to our economy, to open, harmonious communities, and-yes- even to important environmental protections.

He has also, of course, voted through … Tory policies which are of huge concern to Richmond Park voters- from ripping local government funding in half to expanding divisive, life-scarring grammar schools. And while his deplorable mayoral campaign may thankfully be over, it should serve to remind us how important it is that progressives always stand up for their values. Labour must not dream of outsourcing that job to the Liberal Democrats- a party which cared more about its doomed AV referendum than protecting housing benefit for low-income families, or support for sick and disabled people, or the legal aid many rely on for access to justice.

Most importantly of all, a strong Labour performance on December 1 absolutely does have the potential to deliver huge benefits locally for Richmond Park.

Source: Richmond Park prospective candidate: I will show Labour at its diverse best | LabourList

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