Lee Jasper to stand for Respect in Croydon North by-election
Leading race relations campaigner Lee Jasper - who was an advisor to Ken Livingstone when he was London mayor - has joined the race to be the next MP for Croydon North.
Jasper was this evening announced as the candidate for George Galloway's Respect party in the election, set to be held at the end of November.
Currently chair of the London Race & Criminal Justice Consortium, Jasper has been a vocal campaigner on issues affecting black and minority communities for several years.
He was a senior advisor on equality issues to Labour's former London mayor Ken Livingstone, before quitting in 2008.
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On Sunday evening, Jasper tweeted: "I am delighted to have been selected now let's roll up our sleeves & do the work, No more talk time for action."
Respect leader George Galloway tonight announced Mr Jasper as his candidate in a YouTube video - where he also admitted the party would be "targeting" black voters.
He said: "The people of Croydon North deserve better and we are going to offer them better."
On the choice of Mr Jasper to fight the seat, he added: "If I could have composed the perfect candidate to fight this seat then it would be Lee Jasper."
The by-election is required after the death of Labour MP Malcolm Wicks last month.
Labour is soon due to select its candidate from a shortlist of five - in what is traditionally a safe seat for the party - with former Croydon Council leader Val Shawcross among those in the frame.
Community worker Andy Stranack has already been selected by the Tories, while Marisha Ray will stand for the Lib Dems.