- Rita Begum
Near Miss for GLA Candidate Narrowing Labour-Conservative Gap in West Central
A Labour Westminster City councillor, and mother-of-four, narrowly missed winning the West Central Greater London Assembly (GLA) seat from her Conservative opponent last weekend.
The West Central GLA election results announced last Friday found Cllr Rita Begum was 1.6% short of the elected Conservative Party GLA member Tony Devenish’s winning total of 55,163.
The West Central seat has been held by the Conservative Party since the GLA was founded in 2000, but Begum’s result further narrowed the gap between the parties with the largest swing from Conservative to Labour (4%) since the GLA began.
Begum said: “I am, of course, disappointed. I had hoped to break the monopoly in West Central and would have brought a fresh set of eyes to the affairs of the GLA.
“I do not pretend to be a professional politician and wanted to represent West Central residents from my experience as a mother of four children.”
Overall, Labour did well in the elections with Sadiq Khan keeping his position as Mayor of London, however they lost one of their London Assembly seats.
Begum said: “Whatever now happens, Labour has shown what can be done by an amazing set of voluntary colleagues and friends from Hammersmith, Kensington and Westminster Labour Parties.
We may not have won West Central this time, but will continue to campaign for local people and their children in addressing their interests against the pain imposed by the Tory Government that has underfunded spending over 10 years in every aspect of our lives – housing, jobs, education, training, health, social care, welfare benefits and mobility.”
In his winning speech Devenish pledged to continue holding the new mayor to account, prioritising sorting out the Hammersmith Bridge fiasco, building more homes, transport, and the environment.
For all the London election results visit London Elects.
This article first appeared in swlondoner.co.uk