Labour retain grip on Camden Council with another thundering victory

Labour dominant in most wards; Lib Dems form opposition; leader of the Tories loses his place on the council

Friday, 6th May — By Richard Osley

Labour team 2022

The winning Labour team

LABOUR campaigners are celebrating this morning (Friday) after another colossal victory at Camden Council’s elections.

The party already had a huge majority from gains made in 2018 but broke new ground this time by securing a councillor in Hampstead Town ward – previously a stronghold for the Tories who usually fend off the Lib Dems rather than Labour.

In comical scenes, Adrian Cohen, seen as a paper candidate saw a New Journal tweet from the count which suggested he might actually win and got out of bed to rush to the Somers Town Community Centre.

It was perhaps the best illustration of how dominant Labour proved to be. Their opponents had hunkered down in a small number of wards but their candidates overcame potential hurdles in new polling areas in Primrose Hill and South Hampstead. They were unable to achieve their ambition of wiping the Lib Dems out in Fortune Green and the Greens in Highgate – although these contests were also about defending the seats they already possessed.

Away from Labour’s successes, the Conservative leader Oliver Cooper lost his place on the council amid a defeat to the Lib Dems in Belsize – where the Tories were unable to score even one of the seats. Mr Cooper had moved to Belsize from the Hampstead Town ward, insisting he was leading from the front. It had been billed as a ‘fox run’ – the opposite of a chicken run because of the confidence in winning a council chamber place in a new ward – but the gamble had clearly failed as the piles of yellow sheets grew as this morning’s count continued.

Council leader Georgia Gould delivers her victory speech

Camden’s Conservatives have now been reduced to just three councillors: two in Frognal and one in Hampstead Town. One of those will have to take up the mantle of leading their team at the Town Hall.

The Lib Dems will also need a new leader as Luisa Porritt stepped down due to the changing demand of her private work. The party is, however, the official opposition now with four councillors.

This still leaves the make-up of Camden Council hugely tilted towards Labour, who have a host of new faces who will now take their seats.

At around 5.30am, Labour’s leader Georgia Gould delivered a victory speech from the podium, to chants of ‘four more years’.

“I just want to say thank you to every candidate who has put themselves forward – it’s not easy to put themselves forward in an election,” she said.

“It’s generally been a great debate but we have seen incidents of really horrible racism – I just want to say to those racists in Camden: We are no place for hate, and we have sent a strong message, as Camden, that we will not accept them in our borough.”

She added: “I just wanted to say about some of the candidates who are not going to be going forward. Oliver Cooper, the leader of the opposition, has served Camden for a long time and he has given a lot to the borough, and I’d like to thank him for all of his service. And too Luisa, who will be a great loss to the borough of Camden.”

“But tonight has been an overwhelming, but sometimes surprising, victory for Labour and I’d like to thank every voter who put their faith in Camden Labour. You’ve elected the most passionate, diverse group of candidates we have ever seen and I know they will all serve Camden every day.”

More follows

Related Articles