Excl audio: Lewisham East shortlister Claudia Webbe on what drives her to stand

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Earlier today, the SKWAWKBOX conducted an interview with NEC member and shortlisted applicant for Labour’s candidacy for the Lewisham East parliamentary seat vacated by Heidi Alexander’s move to the London mayor’s office, Claudia Webbe.

The interview lasted almost an hour and ranged over topics as varied as Gaza and the NHS – but right at the end of the interview, the SKWAWKBOX offered Ms Webbe the opportunity to talk directly to Lewisham East members and tell them whatever she wanted.

The discussion in the rest of the interview had been clear-thinking and politically aware – but in that four-minute period the tone changed as Ms Webbe, clearly speaking from the heart in a voice sometimes cracking with emotion, talked powerfully of her poor upbringing as a child of Windrush parents, in a single room and often going to bed hungry, before moving to what she sees now and her passion for helping poor and working-class people under assault from this Tory government – and her belief that a Corbyn-led government is not only the solution, but also imminent.

The rest of the interview will be published this evening. But the audio of those four minutes is reproduced below with her permission.

The shortlist now consists of three women, as Brenda Dacres has dropped out in favour of Janet Daby.

It also has two left candidates, backed by the Unite/CWU/BFAWU unions in the case of Claudia Webbe and by Momentum in the case of Sakina Sheikh, whom the SKWAWKBOX interviewed earlier in the week.

If you are a Lewisham East Labour member, the SKWAWKBOX does not ask you to prefer one or the other, but it does ask you to make sure that you arrive in good time for the hustings tomorrow morning, which start at 9.30am.

And to make sure that, whichever candidate is your first preference, your second is the other of those two, to ensure that Lewisham and the country get the strong left MP we need.

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