ALL SMILES: Steve Reed
LABOUR’S CANDIDATE in the upcoming Croydon-North by-election has promised to ‘oppose Tory plans’ to make cuts to the area’s police force.
Steve Reed, who is the bookies hot favourite to win the seat, has announced that he will aim to prevent the closure of south-Norwood police station if put in power on Thursday [Nov 29].
The 48-year-old told The Voice: “It is unacceptable that Croydon-North has a higher proportion of unemployment. I will campaign to get a Labour majority on Croydon Council so they can reverse these unfair Tory cuts.”
Other candidates in the race include Respect’s Lee Jasper, Liberal Democrat Marisha ray, UKIP’s Winston McKenzie, and Andy Stranack from the Conservative Party.
Reed’s statment comes after Respect leader, George Galloway, blasted the Labour Party for choosing a ‘white guy’ as their candidate, despite Croydon-North having one the largest BAME communities in London.
Brixton Hill councillor Reed said on the controversy: “Our greatest strength is our diversity. I have got huge experience of leading a council in one of the most diverse places in London. I led a project that lead to the increase of BAME participants in Lambeth.”
“The problem we face, we face together: issues such as unemployment, poverty and housing. I think it is wrong that some fringe wants to divide this community on race,” he added.
Reed went on to reveal plans to work with ‘faith and community groups’ to oppose current Tory plans. He also claimed that he will adopt the recently increased Living Wage of £8.25 an hour.
He said: “I will work to prevent the closure of south Norwood police station. I will expose the Tory’s failure to invest properly.”
Reed, who will join the other candidates in a debate, taking place tonight at Gonvile Academy, Thornton Heath, south London said he will ‘fight to speed up compensation for small business hit by the riots.’