A BLACKLISTED worker who became a trade union organiser is among the favourites to win the contest to become Labour’s candidate for the Tooting by-election.
Martin Smith, who is now a national organiser for the GMB union, is one of five candidates shortlisted by the Labour Party before tomorrow’s local selection meeting.
He could become an MP just months after being awarded compensation as part of a payout to over 3,000 workers whose names appeared on the infamous Consulting Association blacklist.
Mr Smith told the Star that his campaign priorities were underemployment and low pay, the Tory housing crisis and cheaper and greener transport. “We have to be clear and vocal about the practical impact of Tory policies and priorities on people’s everyday lives and — just as importantly — how Labour would do it differently,” he adds on his website.
The by-election was called when Sadiq Khan honoured his pledge to step down as an MP if he won the London mayoral election. Labour is odds-on to retain the seat at the poll, which is likely to be held on Thursday June 9.
Mr Smith faces competition from two doctors, Mike McLaughlin and Rosena Allin-Khan, who are seeking to put the future of the NHS on the ballot paper.
As deputy leader of the Labour group on Wandsworth council, Ms Allin-Khan has a strong profile among local members. Naushabah Khan, who stood for Labour in the Rochester and Strood by-election, and local barrister Jasvir Singh are the other candidates.