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Tributes to Ealing Southall MP Virendra Sharma following standing down announcement

Ealing Council councillors and local politicians have paid tribute to Ealing Southall MP Virendra Sharma who announced on Monday (27 May 2024) evening he will not be seeking re-election in the upcoming 4 July 2024 General Election. 

Mr Sharma, a former Ealing Councillor and Mayor of Ealing, has represented Ealing Southall since 2007 following a by-election triggered by the death of MP Piara Khabra said:   “Over nearly 50 years I have served the party in one form or another. Now I believe the time has come for another chapter to begin. I want to let you know that I will not be standing at the next election.”

At the last election in 2019, Mr Sharma had a majority of 16,084 over the Conservatives.

According to a number of sources, due to the lateness of the standing down, Labour will not be having a long list or short list of candidates for the Ealing Southall seat and will appoint someone directly. A number of names being suggested as the candidate include Ealing Council leader Councillor Peter Mason and veteran Southall Councillor Jasbir Anand.

Posting on X, Councillor Mason said: “We are a better Party, and Ealing Southall is a better place because of Virendra Sharma’s public service. Over 50 years dedication to the communities he represents. He will leave a lasting legacy, as he will to the things he turns his energies towards in the future. Thank you.”

Ealing Central and Acton MP, Dr Rupa Huq said: “Yesterday’s flurry of last minute retirement sees some political giants exit, leaving Parliament poorer. Gutted most of all about my Parliamentary neighbour Virendra who I first met in 1990s and has been such a unifying figure in Southall with all its quirks. Huge shoes to fill.”

Councillor Monica Hamidi, who is standing to become an MP in Wokingham posted: “The past 15 years, you’ve become like family to me, not just my boss. Your support and guidance have given me the confidence to shape my journey and career. I will miss our chats, but I’m sure Nirmala will be glad to have you home more now. Thank you for everything!”

Mayor of Ealing (2023/4), Councillor Hitesh Tailor said: “Thank you Virendra for your years of service and your advice and counsel. A wonderful beacon of support during my Mayoral year (just ended).”

James Murray MP for Ealing North said: “Most people will know Virendra for his amazing record as a public servant who has given so much to the people he represents. I also know him as a parliamentary neighbour whose kindness, generosity, and guidance I have been immensely grateful for. Thank you Virendra.”

London Assembly Member and Councillor Bassam Mahfouz said: “Someone I am truly honoured to call a friend. Humble, generous and always brimming with positivity. He has been a beacon of positive change since arriving in the UK, championing the causes of under represented communities. Thank you for all of your support over these years.”

Former London Assembly Member, Dr Onkar Sahota posted: This is a momentous decision after a long political service to the constituents of Ealing Southall by @VirendraSharma. I want to thank him for all is hard work, commitment and dedication. My heartfelt good wishes to Virendra and family for the future.”

The replacement for Mr Sharma is expected to be announced later this week.

Neil Reynolds, standing for the Green Party posted on X: “Usually when an MP resigns this late it is because they have agreed to deny their local members a say on their replacement. Often they receive a seat in the house of lords soon after. Ealing Southall deserves better.”

 

Virendra Sharma’s letter announcing he is standing down

As candidates from all parties and independents are announced, EALING.NEWS will provide comprehensive coverage and updates of who is standing in each of Ealing’s three constituencies.

Candidates who have been formerly announced and are standing in the 4 July 2024 General Election for Ealing Southall are:

Steve Chilcott (Reform UK)
Tariq Mahmood (Liberal Democrats)
Neil Reynolds (Green Party)

Are you an Ealing resident with a story to share? Or spotted something we should know about?
Get in touch with us by emailing: news@ealing.news or contact us on X @_EalingNews

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