Islington North: Who could replace Jeremy Corbyn as Labour's candidate in the general election?

Names have begun to emerge in what will likely be a tense and toxic contest to replace Jeremy Corbyn as the Labour Party's candidate for Islington North at the next general election.

The party formally launched the process to select its candidate for the north London seat after months of uncertainty.

Paul Mason, the former Channel 4 journalist, has confirmed he will seek the Labour nomination for the safe seat, as has transport author Christian Wolmar.

Labour insiders also suggested Islington councillor Praful Nargund could throw his hat in the ring, along with fellow local councillor Sheila Chapman and London Assembly member Sem Moema.

Uma Kumaran, a former adviser to Sir Keir Starmer, is also rumoured to be considering running to be the Labour candidate.

Sources close to Sam Tarry, the current Labour MP for Ilford South who was deselected by local party members in October 2022, dismissed rumours he was considering running in the selection, pointing out that he once served as Mr Corbyn's campaign manager.

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Another Labour insider said running in a contest potentially against Mr Corbyn was "a hard sell for most activists".

"You will have a target painted on your back for the rest of your career," they added.

Mr Corbyn was first elected to represent Islington North in 1983 and has won it at each of the last 10 elections.

Sir Keir effectively barred his predecessor from ever standing as a Labour candidate when he proposed a motion by the party's ruling body, the National Executive Committee (NEC), which said Mr Corbyn "will not be endorsed by the NEC as a candidate on behalf of the Labour Party at the next general election".

It cited the dismal defeat Mr Corbyn led Labour to as leader in the 2019 general election in arguing his candidacy should be blocked and said the party's chances of securing a majority in the Commons would be "significantly diminished" if he was endorsed.

Mr Corbyn has been without the party whip - meaning he cannot sit as a Labour MP in the Commons - since 2020 following his response to a report into antisemitism within the party by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, which Sir Keir and his allies felt downplayed the significance of the problem while he was leader.

Since the passing of the NEC motion, speculation has been rife as to what Mr Corbyn's future could hold, including rumours he had considered running for London mayor, which he ultimately decided against - and that he could run against his former party as an independent candidate in Islington North, the seat he has represented for more than 40 years.

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Sky News understands that although Mr Corbyn could still technically apply to be the Labour candidate for the seat he currently holds, because of the NEC motion, his application would be immediately dismissed and would not be considered by the party's selection committee.

That reality could prompt Mr Corbyn into formally declaring he will stand as an independent in Islington North - a move that is likely to result in him being suspended from the party he has been a member of for 50 years.

Applications to be selected to run for Labour in the seat opened on Wednesday, with candidates expected to be shortlisted next week.

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The hustings will take place online, with Labour dismissing suggestions this is unusual. The result is expected to be announced on 1 June, according to reports.

Momentum, a grass-roots group set up in the wake of Mr Corbyn's leadership election victory back in 2015, hit out at the decision to bar Mr Corbyn from standing - pointing to his support among local Labour members.

John McDonnell, who served as shadow chancellor while Mr Corbyn was leader, said on X, formerly known as Twitter: "The wishes of the Labour Party members of Islington North should be respected and they should be allowed to select the candidate of their voice and that includes Jeremy Corbyn, who has given his life to representing his community."

Sky News has approached Mr Corbyn and the people named in this article for comment.