Keeping Croydon safe following the murder of Elianne Andam would be the priority for one of the candidates to become the new MP for Croydon East. 

Johnson Situ, who is vying to become the Labour candidate for the newly created constituency, said he has been inspired by his family's experiences and his deep-rooted commitment to fighting injustices.

Mr Situ said while growing up in south London he had witnessed first hand the challenges faced by the community, including inadequate public services, safety concerns, and the high cost of living.

He said: “We often didn't feel safe, and decades on, a Conservative government and council have stripped back funding for youth centres and the community policing we rely on.

“Because of poverty wages, my parents were always working, but it still felt like we always struggled with the cost of living.”

He believes that such gaps, including a ten-year difference in life expectancy across different parts of Croydon East, breed mistrust in politics and hinder the community's progress.

He added: “My life's work has been underpinned by my commitment to showing that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things together.

“As MP for Croydon East, I want to bring our community together to work to restore trust and ensure politics can be seen as a force for good again by getting things done and meeting the challenges of the rising cost of living.

“Over the last three years, I've put my values into action working in City Hall as part of a team that has supported families with the cost-of-living crisis by providing free healthy school meals for primary school kids, mentors for thousands of young people and taken bold action on climate change.”

Mr Situ said his three key areas were keeping Croydon safe, housing and restoring trust in politics.

He added: “From young people to shop workers, people are concerned about their safety. The tragic murder of Elianne Andam has touched us all deeply. As MP, I will work tirelessly to ensure we're tackling crime and the causes of it.”

He added: “Far too many people in parts of Croydon East still do not have decent, secure and affordable housing.

“Croydon is a special place, and I always stand up for Croydon in good times and bad.”

He said that as a councillor in Southwark, he led work to create 2,000 apprenticeships and helped plant 10,000 trees, as well as being tough on developers by “closing the loophole of the dodgy definition of affordable housing”.

He added: “I've worked to support the poorest across the globe through my work in international development, bringing education to millions of girls across the globe.”

Mr Situ, said that to connect with the people in the local community and understand what they need and worry about, he is working together with organisations like the Palace for Life Foundation, which helps young people in central Croydon.

He said he wants to be seen and available to the people he represents.

He added: “I have a great deal of respect for the other candidates.

“Still, I am putting myself forward because my experience shapes my candidacy, and I am proud to have worked to improve lives at the town hall and, more recently, across London in City Hall.

“I have the experience, skills and passion to reach out to people needing a voice.”