Since 1995 Labour members have only once been given a choice of who they want to run Newham. That was in 2002.
The current Mayor hasn’t faced an open selection since the job was created in 2002 (before that, from 1995, he was the leader of Newham council – chosen by other Cllrs, not by members). That’s because of the trigger ballot process. This is a vote by branches on whether or not to have a full selection. Since 2002 the majority of people who have gone to branch meetings have voted not to have a full selection, which stops other potential candidates from being able to throw their hat into the ring.
In 2013 members were asked, ‘Do you want Sir Robin Wales to carry on as elected Mayor?’ Voting no is not a vote against the current Mayor; it’s a vote for democracy and for an open selection. The current Mayor will automatically become a candidate. If any other Labour member puts themselves forward there will then be a selection process and an opportunity for debate and choice.