Who gets your vote? Croydon North byelection candidates profiled

Your Local Guardian: Andy Stranack out on the campaign trail with Boris Johnson Andy Stranack out on the campaign trail with Boris Johnson

Residents of Croydon North will take to the polls tomorrow in the Croydon North byelection. Andy Bloss profiles the leading candidates who are vying to take on the constituency and asks them why they should get your vote.


Andy Stranack, running for the Conservatives, was born in Croydon and worked with the late Labour MP Malcolm Wicks, to help establish the Croydon Disability Forum.

A host of big hitters have supported Mr Stranack, with the Prime Minister endorsing him in a letter written to the Croydon Guardian this week.

Mr Stranack said: "Malcolm Wicks was a highly respected MP – he’ll be a hard act to follow. That’s why this by-election is so important.

"It isn’t going to change the Government, but it is our chance to make sure we have a good, local MP like Malcolm.

"Unlike Labour’s candidate, I’m not a professional politician. I work for Ment4, a Croydon charity based on London road that helps young people aged between 14 and 19 who are involved in crime to turn their lives around.

"I’m also the only one of the main party candidates who is local, having been born in Mayday and lived in Croydon all my life.

"I was born with cerebral palsy, so I know what it’s like to struggle and work hard for what you achieve in life. I want to be a voice for people of all minorities, of all faiths, and from all different communities in Parliament.

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"Give your vote on Thursday to someone who is local, who knows how life on the ground really is for Croydon residents. Vote for me, Andy Stranack, a voice for hard-working people in Croydon."


Steve Reed, Labour’s candidate for Croydon North, is Lambeth’s council leader and has lived in Streatham for many years.

Mr Reed is the favourite to take Croydon North but that has not stopped Ed Miliband, Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper from coming to Croydon to back their man.

Labour’s candidate said: "Croydon North has one of the highest rates of youth unemployment in London. A police station is closing and there are 91 fewer police officers in Croydon since 2010.

“The Tory Council is neglecting Croydon North while investing in other parts of the Borough. Whether it's in the Town Hall, City Hall or Whitehall out of touch Tories are letting the people of Croydon North down.

"Croydon North needs an MP who will be on the side of local communities, fighting for fairness for all. Just like Malcolm Wicks did.

“As your MP I would get going straight away by calling a jobs summit - bringing together businesses, skills providers, colleges and schools.

“I'd bring together local businesses recovering from the riots and demand they get the support they need, and oppose Tory police cuts.

"By voting Labour on Thursday people in Croydon North have a chance to tell David Cameron you cannot be the One Nation Prime Minister Britain needs if you are cutting police officers and raising taxes for pensioners in Croydon North when millionaires will pay less.

"I will always stand up for local communities and do the right thing for Croydon North."


Liberal Democrat candidate Marisha Ray is no stranger to Croydon, having spent much of her childhood with close family friends in the borough.

The mother-of-one served as a councillor in Islington between 2002 and 2010, and was an executive member for tackling crime between 2006 and 2008.

She said: "My priorities are to ensure that we cut crime in Croydon, to ensure that NHS services in Croydon and nearby offer an excellent standard of service, that the promised Tramlink extension is delivered and that every young person in Croydon feels the benefits of the Youth Contract and apprenticeships schemes.

"Particularly important to me as a mother are the new schemes to give one to one attention and improve the education of children who might otherwise fall behind.

"As a lead councillor I successfully implemented a gang prevention strategy and worked closely with all local organisations to reduce crime. I’m an experienced campaigner with a record of holding the NHS to account.

Additionally as a former member of the board of a hospital I know how the NHS works. I will work to ensure that Croydon University Hospital is not adversely affected if the proposed closure of St. Helier A&E goes ahead."


Lee Jasper is the Respect Party’s candidate for Croydon North. The former policy advisor to Ken Livingstone when he was mayor is now the chairman of the London Race and Criminal Justice Consortium.

He wanted his campaign to focus on speaking out for the poor, elderly and vulnerable.

Mr Jasper said: "I am standing as I believe I can truly make a difference to the lives of the people in Croydon North.

"In this election I am by far the most broadly experienced candidate. I am far from your average politician, who has no experience of the real world.

"I have a unique combination of knowledge at the highest levels of local Government, and at the very grassroots of local activism.

"I have a vision of a Croydon North that fully engages and delivers for its residents. The mainstream parties continuously fail to produce and implement successful policies and repeatedly go back on their promises."


Shasha Khan, who is standing for the Green Party, is nicknamed the ‘Green Knight’.

He has lived in the area for 30 years and currently lives in Selhurst. He is best known as a local campaigner.

He said: "My tireless effort and enthusiasm for fighting for my local area, has earned me the nickname of Croydon’s Green Knight. Something local reporters first used.

"The best way to explain the principles of the Green Party is through a leaflet that I handed out outside Thornton Heath station on the morning of the General Election in 2005, and by the way, I was the Green Party parliamentary in 2010.

"The leaflet simply said People, Planet and Peace – Vote Green.

"The Green Party has been consistency against the incinerator.

"It is against our principle to burn waste. Mayor Boris Johnson has said he needs to gauge the level of opposition to decide whether to intervene in the planning process.

"A high Green vote on Thursday will send a signal to the Mayor that people don't want the incinerator."


Winston McKenzie is standing for UKIP in the Croydon North by-election, he has lived in Croydon for 50 years.

The former boxer wants to tackle crime and homelessness whilst also praising the work ethic of small businesses and community groups.

He said: ""I would galvanise people with hope. I would make them realise that they can do something help themselves. I would reach out to community leaders who are doing sterling work but are not getting the support from government because all eyes are on abroad and on fighting foreign wars.

"We have failed tomorrow's generation. The first thing I would is communicate. We need to reach out the youngsters. It's about time politicians got out there into the real world. I spent 15 years of people life lecturing in schools and young people feel like they can talk to me."


Comments (8)

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7:53pm Wed 28 Nov 12

puzzled says...

None of them look very bright
None of them look very bright puzzled
  • Score: 0

9:11pm Wed 28 Nov 12

jasondean says...

Steve Reed to win this seat. He has got a very strong record as Leader of Lambeth Council. He has introduced a Living Wage in that borough, lead the biggest urban regeneration project in the country, started building 3 new leisure centres, upgraded 15,000 substandard council homes, opened 6 new schools and stopped Croydon's Tories from closing Upper Norwood Library which benefits Croydon North - whilst having to deal with politically-motivate
d Tory cuts! His Co-operative Council network has caught on and is a national movement in local government sharing best practice across the country. He is no career politician, having been a printer for several years before entering elected politics aged 34. Stranack talks the talk but cannot walk the walk - he is a Tory, the very people Malcolm Wicks fought and his party's policies are hurting Croydon North. Lee Jasper is an absolute joke who is not from Croydon but failed to be a Labour candidate in Vauxhall, so joined Respect. He is also a sexist. Steve Reed would be an strong MP (the kind we need).
Steve Reed to win this seat. He has got a very strong record as Leader of Lambeth Council. He has introduced a Living Wage in that borough, lead the biggest urban regeneration project in the country, started building 3 new leisure centres, upgraded 15,000 substandard council homes, opened 6 new schools and stopped Croydon's Tories from closing Upper Norwood Library which benefits Croydon North - whilst having to deal with politically-motivate d Tory cuts! His Co-operative Council network has caught on and is a national movement in local government sharing best practice across the country. He is no career politician, having been a printer for several years before entering elected politics aged 34. Stranack talks the talk but cannot walk the walk - he is a Tory, the very people Malcolm Wicks fought and his party's policies are hurting Croydon North. Lee Jasper is an absolute joke who is not from Croydon but failed to be a Labour candidate in Vauxhall, so joined Respect. He is also a sexist. Steve Reed would be an strong MP (the kind we need). jasondean
  • Score: 0

11:03pm Wed 28 Nov 12

billblake11 says...

While I don't doubt that the New Labour candidate Steve Reed is a good man, I think that it is payback time for New Labour deserting the interests of the working class, leading us into, and continuing to support (all the major parties are guilty), for the stupid, unwinable war in Afghanistan. A deadline (unfortunate word) has been set for our withdrawal, so the Taliban can just wait out that time, making any further death of British soldiers pointless, just for the face-saving posturing of our politicians (of all the major parties). There was the Iraq WMD lies New Labour told us, and the hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths in which British armed forces are implicated. Not quite a genocide. Nothing to be proud of.
Imagine how much better education, health or the country's bank-balance would have been without such waste of billions spent on these destructive wars.
There is also the tragic failure of New Labour to understand the Capitaist system. Gordon Brown claimed to have abolished boom and bust, such hubris, such stupidity to even attempt such a thing given the long observable history of the bi-polar madness of markets.
I am a natural Old Labour supporter, but I am voting Respect to show New Labour that they can't take support for granted. I don't want wars and I want an alternative to the madness of markets.
While I don't doubt that the New Labour candidate Steve Reed is a good man, I think that it is payback time for New Labour deserting the interests of the working class, leading us into, and continuing to support (all the major parties are guilty), for the stupid, unwinable war in Afghanistan. A deadline (unfortunate word) has been set for our withdrawal, so the Taliban can just wait out that time, making any further death of British soldiers pointless, just for the face-saving posturing of our politicians (of all the major parties). There was the Iraq WMD lies New Labour told us, and the hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths in which British armed forces are implicated. Not quite a genocide. Nothing to be proud of. Imagine how much better education, health or the country's bank-balance would have been without such waste of billions spent on these destructive wars. There is also the tragic failure of New Labour to understand the Capitaist system. Gordon Brown claimed to have abolished boom and bust, such hubris, such stupidity to even attempt such a thing given the long observable history of the bi-polar madness of markets. I am a natural Old Labour supporter, but I am voting Respect to show New Labour that they can't take support for granted. I don't want wars and I want an alternative to the madness of markets. billblake11
  • Score: 0

11:17pm Wed 28 Nov 12

jasondean says...

Hi, nice to meet you. Lee Jasper is a disgrace to be honest. You claim to be 'Old Labour', but Labour had a strong commitment to the mutuals, friendly societies and co-operatives. The Labour movement started back in the days of Robert Owen. Steve Reed is from that Labour tradition, which seeks to challenge the state and the market and redistribute wealth and power to the people. New Labour finished in 2010, it is One Nation Labour now. New Labour did great things but mistakes were made, it is also very old now.
As for Respect, remember what George Galloway said about rape. His comments were an insult to women and Lee Jasper backed those comments on Twitter. Galloway says he is not a pacifist but a revolutionary who takes open arms. Jasper is not local and failed as an adviser in City Hall - BIG TIME, notwithstanding his personal misdeeds and scandals. He is a joke. No Labour person can vote for a party which is deeply anti-Semitic but also have lied repeatedly. Vote for One Nation Labour and attack the Tories, please don't vote for Galloway and his cronies.
Hi, nice to meet you. Lee Jasper is a disgrace to be honest. You claim to be 'Old Labour', but Labour had a strong commitment to the mutuals, friendly societies and co-operatives. The Labour movement started back in the days of Robert Owen. Steve Reed is from that Labour tradition, which seeks to challenge the state and the market and redistribute wealth and power to the people. New Labour finished in 2010, it is One Nation Labour now. New Labour did great things but mistakes were made, it is also very old now. As for Respect, remember what George Galloway said about rape. His comments were an insult to women and Lee Jasper backed those comments on Twitter. Galloway says he is not a pacifist but a revolutionary who takes open arms. Jasper is not local and failed as an adviser in City Hall - BIG TIME, notwithstanding his personal misdeeds and scandals. He is a joke. No Labour person can vote for a party which is deeply anti-Semitic but also have lied repeatedly. Vote for One Nation Labour and attack the Tories, please don't vote for Galloway and his cronies. jasondean
  • Score: 0

11:17pm Wed 28 Nov 12

jasondean says...

Hi, nice to meet you. Lee Jasper is a disgrace to be honest. You claim to be 'Old Labour', but Labour had a strong commitment to the mutuals, friendly societies and co-operatives. The Labour movement started back in the days of Robert Owen. Steve Reed is from that Labour tradition, which seeks to challenge the state and the market and redistribute wealth and power to the people. New Labour finished in 2010, it is One Nation Labour now. New Labour did great things but mistakes were made, it is also very old now.
As for Respect, remember what George Galloway said about rape. His comments were an insult to women and Lee Jasper backed those comments on Twitter. Galloway says he is not a pacifist but a revolutionary who takes open arms. Jasper is not local and failed as an adviser in City Hall - BIG TIME, notwithstanding his personal misdeeds and scandals. He is a joke. No Labour person can vote for a party which is deeply anti-Semitic but also have lied repeatedly. Vote for One Nation Labour and attack the Tories, please don't vote for Galloway and his cronies.
Hi, nice to meet you. Lee Jasper is a disgrace to be honest. You claim to be 'Old Labour', but Labour had a strong commitment to the mutuals, friendly societies and co-operatives. The Labour movement started back in the days of Robert Owen. Steve Reed is from that Labour tradition, which seeks to challenge the state and the market and redistribute wealth and power to the people. New Labour finished in 2010, it is One Nation Labour now. New Labour did great things but mistakes were made, it is also very old now. As for Respect, remember what George Galloway said about rape. His comments were an insult to women and Lee Jasper backed those comments on Twitter. Galloway says he is not a pacifist but a revolutionary who takes open arms. Jasper is not local and failed as an adviser in City Hall - BIG TIME, notwithstanding his personal misdeeds and scandals. He is a joke. No Labour person can vote for a party which is deeply anti-Semitic but also have lied repeatedly. Vote for One Nation Labour and attack the Tories, please don't vote for Galloway and his cronies. jasondean
  • Score: 0

12:34am Thu 29 Nov 12

billblake11 says...

Hello. We haven't met. I'm old-school and I don't count an exchange of views on the internet as meeting. One Nation Labour? "One nation" is a bit too close to "Eine volk" for my liking. You can change the packaging but the product remains the same. So you are New New Labour. Rebranding is erasing history just like a Winston Smith used to do at the Ministry of Truth.
I am Old Labour. I come from a long line of Old Labour. My dad was a shop steward for the Transport and General Workers Union. I am proud that my great uncle fought the fascists in the Spanish civil war. I remember my first vote, when I lived in Moss Side in Manchester I voted Labour because believed that Micheal Foot was a great man, the best man to run the country. . Don't tell me that I "claim" to be Old Labour: it is in my heart and in my blood!. Now I look at politicians today, of all parties, and it is just picking the best of a bad lot. But I want to give New New Labour a lesson.
Why is Respect anti-Semitic? Perhaps you need to look up the word Semitic. If you want to say anti-Jewish then say anti-Jewish, and perhaps tell me what evidence you have for thinking so. If you have sufficient evidence that Respect is a racist party then I will change my mind.
Hello. We haven't met. I'm old-school and I don't count an exchange of views on the internet as meeting. One Nation Labour? "One nation" is a bit too close to "Eine volk" for my liking. You can change the packaging but the product remains the same. So you are New New Labour. Rebranding is erasing history just like a Winston Smith used to do at the Ministry of Truth. I am Old Labour. I come from a long line of Old Labour. My dad was a shop steward for the Transport and General Workers Union. I am proud that my great uncle fought the fascists in the Spanish civil war. I remember my first vote, when I lived in Moss Side in Manchester I voted Labour because believed that Micheal Foot was a great man, the best man to run the country. [The only time Michael Foot let me down was the Falklands when he thought he had to have a go Thatcher, terriblr war-mongering]. Don't tell me that I "claim" to be Old Labour: it is in my heart and in my blood!. Now I look at politicians today, of all parties, and it is just picking the best of a bad lot. But I want to give New New Labour a lesson. Why is Respect anti-Semitic? Perhaps you need to look up the word Semitic. If you want to say anti-Jewish then say anti-Jewish, and perhaps tell me what evidence you have for thinking so. If you have sufficient evidence that Respect is a racist party then I will change my mind. billblake11
  • Score: 0

12:50am Thu 29 Nov 12

billblake11 says...

Apparently putting text in square brackets means it is not shown. So this is what I put in square brackets...
The only time Michael Foot let me down was the Falklands when he thought he had to have a go Thatcher, terriblr war-mongering
Apparently putting text in square brackets means it is not shown. So this is what I put in square brackets... The only time Michael Foot let me down was the Falklands when he thought he had to have a go Thatcher, terriblr[sic] war-mongering billblake11
  • Score: 0

12:53am Thu 29 Nov 12

billblake11 says...

I put sic in square brackets after "terriblr" but obviously that has not come out. Will I ever learn?
I put sic in square brackets after "terriblr" but obviously that has not come out. Will I ever learn? billblake11
  • Score: 0

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