As London looks ready to make Sadiq Khan its mayor, who will be Tooting’s next MP?

When Sadiq Khan announced his intentions to stand as Mayor of London, he pledged he would stand down from his Parliamentary seat in Tooting if he won.

Although the count has not been called, he has won in several constituencies, including Merton and Wandsworth where his former council colleague Leonie Cooper is now the Greater London Authority member.

His win will trigger a by-election for his seat, bringing in a new MP for the next four years until the General Election in 2020.

George Galloway, mayoral candidate for the Respect party, has already confirmed he will be standing in Tooting.

Dan Watkins, who narrowed the Conservative margin to barely 3,000 votes in Tooting in 2015, is a likely Tory candidate.

He has maintained his campaign work in the area, as the ‘Conservative parliamentary spokesman for Tooting’, working on Crossrail 2 and hosting the Love Your Local awards with Jane Ellison, Battersea MP.

He told the Wandsworth Guardian, before the formal announcement of Mr Khan’s win: “I have, over the last three years, done a lot of case work, running campaigns and setting up projects in Tooting.

“When the by election is officially announced, there will be a selection process and I hope to be picked.

“I have not heard any names from Labour.”

Mr Watkins said he was a “foot soldier” in the Goldsmith campaign, and had not been too dismayed by the reaction to the Conservative campaign on the doorstep.

He said: “If Sadiq has won convincinglyy, then we need to wish him the best.

“We all love this city.”

At 8.30pm on Friday, May 6, the “Give me back Elmo” party, who won 58 votes with a candidate in Sheffield, announced its intention to stand a contender in Tooting.

Count Sheffield New Fathers 4 Justice

Bobby ‘Elmo’ Smith, of the party, a New Fathers 4 Justice campaigner, said he will bring his campaign to south London.

He said: “Not seeing your children is a travesty, there’s no equality for fathers in family law. The lack of justice and equality for fathers to see their children is one of the biggest social scandals of our time.

“We want nothing less than a legal presumption of equal contact for a child with their parents if they split up.”

Mr Smith caused a security breach at Buckingham Palace last November and has protested outside Jeremy Corbyn MP and Boris Johnson MP’s homes.

The Labour group has been more elusive on the topic of their next candidate.

Names mentioned have included Rex Osborn, currently the group leader in Wandsworth Council.

Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, a junior emergency doctor in St George’s Hospital and Wandsworth Councillor. She has been vocal during the recent strikes led by the British Medical Association.

Tooting ward councillor Fleur Anderson, who works for WaterAid, may throw her hat in the ring.

Battersea Labour stood Will Martindale against Jane Ellison in 2015. He has strong connections with Battersea but perhaps his name will appear on the Tooting ballot paper.

Before Labour’s anti-semitic crisis, Ken Livingstone’s name was linked with the seat.

Even former leadership candidate David Miliband’s name has been mentioned, though it could be too soon for a return to these shores.

Watch this space.

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