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The BBC's Nicholas Jones
"The result was clear cut"
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Thursday, 25 May, 2000, 22:45 GMT 23:45 UK
Tottenham chooses candidate
Bernie Grant
Bernie Grant: MP for Tottenham for 13 years
Black barrister David Lammy has won the nomination to be the Labour candidate to contest the safe London seat of Tottenham formerly held by Bernie Grant.

The by-election will take place on Thursday, 22 June.

Mr Lammy, 27, a member of the Greater London Authority, beat off competition from Mr Grant's widow Sharon in the selection process.

I will be showing the same independence of spirit to make sure local people get the best deal

David Lammy
Mr Grant, who represented the north London constituency for more than 13 years, died in April, aged 56, following a heart attack.

Mr Lammy, widely thought of as the Labour Party's preferred candidate, said he felt privileged to be asked to follow in Mr Grant's footsteps.

"Bernie always fought to get the best deal for the people of Tottenham," he said.

'Fighting for every vote'

"I will be showing the same independence of spirit as he did to make sure local people get the best deal.

Mr Lammy said he was looking forward to the campaign.

"We take nothing for granted and we will be fighting for every vote," he said. "The by-election starts now."

Along with Mrs Grant, Mr Lammy beat Shahid Malik, who works for Haringey Council and is a member of Labour's National Executive Committee, and Seemana Khan, who lives in Tottenham, to win the party's nomination.

Sharon Grant
Sharon Grant: Lost out in the selection process
The selection of a candidate has been overshadowed by a row over whether Mr Grant should be succeeded by a black candidate.

Greater London Assembly chairman Trevor Phillips said Mr Grant should have a non-white successor - Mrs Grant was the only white candidate.

He questioned new selection procedures saying they disadvantaged people from minority communities who were less likely to have had the required experience.

"Would the young Bernie Grant have made it through the current process? I think not," Mr Phillips said.

The Guyana-born Mr Grant was MP for Tottenham since 1987 and was known as a champion of black and ethnic minority rights.

He had a majority of 20,200 at the last election, making Tottenham one of Labour's safest seats.

The Conservative candidate is 35-year-old Jane Ellison, a customer communications manager with the John Lewis Partnership.

The Liberal Democrats are represented by Duncan Hames, 22, a business analyst with Deloitte Touche.

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See also:

25 May 00 | UK Politics
Tottenham by-election in June
25 May 00 | UK Politics
Millbank-free battle to replace Grant
22 May 00 | UK Politics
Labour 'needs ethnic MP targets'
18 May 00 | UK Politics
Bernie Grant's widow on shortlist
18 Apr 00 | UK Politics
Final tribute to Bernie Grant
08 Apr 00 | UK Politics
Bernie Grant: A controversial figure
08 Apr 00 | UK Politics
Labour MP Bernie Grant dies
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