They’re lovin’ it: It's job done in Sir Keir’s backyard as Labour celebrate with hash browns

Party leaves nothing to chance despite obvious result

Friday, 13th May


Victoria Starmer and her husband Keir head out to vote in Kentish Town last Thursday

AS the Town Hall insists on counting through the night, presumably to ensure there is no shock to the international markets, the winners of these elections came into the light to see Camden at dawn.

It’s rather nice before the chaos of Camden High Street cranks up.

That said, the only place open is McDonald’s in Camden High Street so the victors, including the Town Hall leader Georgia Gould, headed there for celebratory hash browns at 6am on Friday.

Everybody had known before they had reached the counting hall seven hours earlier that Labour would be leading the borough again, and that their own elections were pretty much secure from the moment they saw the first papers out of the boxes.

The defeat of Oliver Cooper, their panto villain for so long, and the election of Adrian Cohen had been unscripted talking points though.

None of them seemed to mind that you could win one of the hardest (for Labour) wards in the borough by hardly lifting a finger.

It must after all be a little tiring to spend weeks, months, knocking on doors and collecting canvas data, only to be told that they could have put a red rosette on a Sausage Egg McMuffin and still have won.

A treat for the winners

Nothing had been left to chance, from the candidate selection process which caused so many headlines to the polling day operation where the smaller parties got swallowed up in the areas where they hoped they could challenge for more.

An hour from the close of play, the cabinet councillor Danny Beales – who knows? perhaps a future leader of the council – could still be found in his khaki shorts squeaking every last vote out of the hillier roads of Fortune Green. Not a moment is lost.

You might wonder why such lengths are gone to – Labour will be able to do whatever they want with 47 councillors as much as they would have been able to with 40.

But there is no room for complacency in what has become known by the national press as simply “Sir Keir’s backyard”.

Whenever the smallest thing goes wrong, there is now this added risk.

Journalists love to drift in, half understand a story – perhaps a row at a CLP meetings – and then get an easy social media hit by suggesting something controversial is happening… in Keir’s backyard.

But not at this locked-up election, no put down your pens – NO seats were lost in Keir’s backyard.

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