Former deputy mayor of London selected as Labour candidate in bid to oust Welsh Secretary

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Heidi Alexander picture by UK Parliament. Robert Buckland. Picture by Jonathan Brady / PA Wire.

A former deputy mayor of London and Labour MP has been selected as the party’s candidate in a bid to oust Welsh Secretary Robert Buckland.

Heidi Alexander is bidding to win South Swindon, where Robert Buckland has held the seat since 2010 and currently has a majority of around 6,600 votes.

Ms Alexander left her seat of Lewisham East in 2018 to become Sadiq Khan’s deputy mayor for transport.

She tweeted that the selection “means the world to me”.

“Am determined to build a winning team here and to make a real difference to my home town,” she said.

“It was so good to get straight out onto the doorstep to talk to people about local issues after the selection meeting.”

She resigned from Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet in 2016 calling it “so inept, so unprofessional, so shoddy”.

In May 2018, she Deputy Mayor of London for Transport under Sadiq Khan and remained there until the opening of Crossrail. One of the trains is now named after her.

Taking to social media she said she was a “Swindon girl – born and bred. It’s time for a change here and I have the experience, skills and determination to make it happen”.

Robert Buckland became the new Welsh Secretary two and a half weeks ago after Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire MP Simon Hart resigned.

Robert Buckland was born and raised in Llanelli but became the first Welsh Secretary since the late Cheryl Gillan under David Cameron not to represent a Welsh constituency.

He served as Solicitor General for England and Wales from 2014 to 2019, until he became Minister of State for Prisons. He was appointed Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor by Boris Johnson in July 2019, serving until the cabinet reshuffle in September 2021.

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