London’s deputy mayor for housing will resign after being selected for a safe Labour seat.
James Murray beat out deputy mayor for business Rajesh Agrawal and Ealing North councillor Aysha Raza to be the Labour candidate in Ealing North at the next general election.
Current Ealing North Labour MP Stephen Pound, who has held the seat since 1997, will retire at the next election.
Murray said he would meet with members of City Hall and the Ealing North Labour party over the coming days to discuss his resignation.
“I am very honoured to be selected as Labour’s candidate for Ealing North – the place where I grew up and where I joined the Labour Party,” he said.
“At City Hall we’ve begun building a record number of council homes – but we need a Labour Government to build all the council homes we need.”
A City Hall source said it was likely Jules Pipe CBE, deputy mayor for planning, regeneration and skills, would take over Murray’s role in an interim capacity.
“My hunch is they’ll find a way to fudge it with some of the other deputy mayors taking on his responsibilities until the [mayoral] election next year, rather than appoint a new deputy for just six months,” they said.
“Jules Pipe being the obvious one as so much of his brief runs alongside James’.”
City A.M. revealed last week that Murray and Agrawal were both unhappy with how Sadiq Khan ran City Hall and were looking for ways out.
A Labour source said they both thought the decision making in the mayor’s office was too centralised.
“They feel they have no input into any of the important decisions being made in the mayor’s office,” the source said.
Murray and Agrawal both labelled the claims as “nonsense”.
Agrawal is still looking for a way into Westminster, despite not winning selection for Ealing North.
The deputy mayor for business is on the long list to be Labour’s candidate for the Cities of London and Westminster constituency, according to LabourList.
Image credit: Ealing North Labour