Newham council mayor deselected in favour of Momentum candidate

Labour has deselected Britain’s longest-serving mayor in favour of a candidate backed by Left-wing group Momentum.

Sir Robin Wales, who led Newham Council in east London for 23 years, will no longer stand in May’s local government elections.

He will be replaced as a candidate by councillor Rokhsana Fiaz, who is backed by Momentum – the campaign group set up to support Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Despite being automatically reselected to run as Newham’s directly elected mayor, Sir Robin was ousted after party members decided to challenge him.

He was beaten by Miss Fiaz, who voted for Mr Corbyn twice in the leadership elections.

Sir Robin Wales, who led Newham Council in east London for 23 years, was deselected in favour of a candidate backed by Left-wing group Momentum

Sir Robin Wales, who led Newham Council in east London for 23 years, was deselected in favour of a candidate backed by Left-wing group Momentum

The move will strengthen fears of a hard-Left purge of Labour moderates, with the influence of Momentum increasing in recent months.

At the beginning of the year, three Momentum-backed candidates, including the group’s founder Jon Lansman, were elected to the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC). Last month, the leader of Haringey Council Claire Kober, resigned after the NEC criticised the north London authority’s public- private property development project.

Sir Robin, who has led the Labour stronghold of Newham since

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