Lib Dems select Maajid Nawaz as candidate in ultra-close three-way marginal of Hampstead and Kilburn
by Stephen Tall on July 20, 2013
In the 2010 general election, Hampstead and Kilburn was a three-way marginal: Glenda Jackson squeaked back in for Labour by just 42 votes, polling fewer than 900 votes ahead of the third-placed Lib Dems.
This week, the local Lib Dems selected the candidate they hope will succeed Ms Jackson when she retires at the next election: he’s Maajid Nawaz, a former radical Islamist, author of Radical: My Journey from Islamist Extremism to a Democratic Awakening, and co-founder of the Quilliam Foundation. As the Ethnic Minority Lib Dems note:
He is the first visible minority so far to become a PPC for the 2015 general election in a constituency where the party has a realistic chance of winning. EMLD welcomes his selection as a step forward in BAME representation. He will take on Labour’s Tulip Siddiq who is seeking to succeed Glenda Jackson as MP. Jackson’s north London seat has a paper-thin majority and is regarded as a three-way ultra marginal. The Lib Dems were in third place in 2010 but have a realistic chance of success, particularly if we garner a sizable share of the BAME vote, which makes up over 30% of the local electorate.
Maajid Nawaz will run in his personal capacity, as a member of the Liberal Democrat Party. In running for the Liberal Democrats, Mr Nawaz continues his political journey from a former leading member of a radical organisation towards liberal democratic values. He will remain Chairman of Quilliam and is committed to its cross-party values and mission of countering extremism, promoting pluralism, inspiring change and seeding democratic culture.