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Ex Labour cllr Kingsley Abrams could be TUSC Bermondsey candidate

Labour's candidate against Simon Hughes at the 2001 election is likely to be on the Bermondsey & Old Southwark ballot paper in May 2015 - this time representing TUSC (Trade Union & Socialist Coalition).

Kingsley Abrams – a councillor in Lambeth's Vassall ward from 2006 to 2013 – quit the Labour Party this week after failing in his bid to be selected as parliamentary candidate in Edmonton.

Before election in Lambeth, he had been a councillor in the borough of Merton.

At the 2001 general election he was Labour's parliamentary candidate in what was then the North Southwark and Bermondsey constituency, gaining 30.8 per cent of the vote to Simon Hughes's 56.9 per cent.

Abrams' CV includes a stint as manager of the Rockingham Community Centre near Elephant & Castle.

"I am from the traditional wing of the Labour Party and fervently anti-austerity," said Abrams.

"But it has become increasingly clear that these policies cannot be articulated within the current Labour Party."

During his tenure in Lambeth Abrams fell foul of the Labour administration for speaking out against cuts.

April Ashley – the Southwark UNISON official who was selected as TUSC's candidate for Bermondsey & Old Southwark – has now stood aside to allow Abrams to take her place.

She said: "I was proud to be selected by TUSC in Southwark to stand in Bermondsey and Old Southwark.

"However, I am happy to step aside to allow Kingsley to stand in the constituency he knows well and has contested before for Labour.

"Kingsley's stand is symptomatic of the fracturing of politics in Britain as all the main parties offer a diet of austerity for the majority and tax cuts for the rich. It is time for a national anti-austerity alternative in Britain.

"I will be backing Kingsley's campaign, and also seeking to represent TUSC in another area."

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