Isle of Dogs voters back Labour and Conservative for Blackwall and Cubitt Town ward


Voters on the Isle of Dogs backed two Labour members and a Conservative to represent their east London patch.

Election results for the Tower Hamlets Council ward of Blackwall and Cubitt Town were announced last night, with Labour pair Dave Chesterton and Candida Ronald joining Tory Christopher James Chapman as newly-elected councillors.

The election for the ward was suspended in May after a candidate died shortly before polling day.

Residents instead went to the polling station yesterday, Thursday, with the count following immediately afterwards.

Turnout was measured at 31.64 per cent.

Cllr Rachael Saunders, leader of the Tower Hamlets Labour Group, said: "The people of Blackwall and Cubitt Town have sent a clear message that they want politicians who will stand up for local people, tackle poor social landlords such as One Housing and fight for the infrastructure and investment the Isle of Dogs needs.

"Today they have elected excellent councillors in Dave Chesterton and Candida Ronald who I have no doubt will serve them with distinction.

"The people of Blackwall and Cubitt Town want a strong and principled opposition to hold the Mayor to account.

"With the elections now decided it is important that politicians of all sides reflect on what the electorate have told them. We must find ways to cooperate for the good of our residents."

The also result means Isle of Dogs campaigner and former councillor Gloria Thienel did not secure a seat, while representatives from UKIP failed to make an impact.

No initial reports of disorder have been received following similar complaints in the May elections.

Conservative leader Cllr Peter Golds said: "The police and Electoral Commission presence was overwhelming. It was much better managed than previously."

The result leaves no party in overall control. Labour is the biggest party with 22 seats, Tower Hamlets First has 18 and the Conservatives have five.

The council is run by an executive mayor, Lutfur Rahman of the THF, the party of his own creation. It is likely that the Tories would find common cause with Labour in holding the executive to account, especially as that executive is currently under investigation from central Government.

Cllr Golds said: "We ought to use the majority we have to make sure he is properly scrutinised. He personally needs to be scrutinised because every decision is his decision."