All change in Croydon, Kingston and Hammersmith and Fulham as new council leaders elected


The first meetings since the local elections have now been held.


By Jack Skelton

The leaders of South West London’s borough councils were confirmed as the first meetings since the local elections on May 22 took place this week.

New leaders were installed in three boroughs as Labour regained control of Croydon and Hammersmith and Fulham from the Conservatives, who in turn claimed Kingston from the Liberal Democrats.

There were cabinet reshuffles in the other five boroughs with returning council leaders making new pledges for the next four years.


Councillor Lib Peck – Labour

Cllr Lib Peck remains Lambeth Council leader following Labour’s imperious performance in winning 59 out of 63 seats, up from 43 in 2010.

A new cabinet was announced on 28 May, with Cllrs Imogen Walker and Paul McGlone appointed as Deputy Leaders responsible for the policy and financial directions of the council respectively.

Their main message going forward is supporting cooperation with Lambeth residents and guaranteeing services are fairly run for all.

Cllr Peck said: “We have a very strong, keen and committed new team that are ready to work hard for their local communities.”

“We want to fulfil the promise we made going into the election: to be fair to everyone and ambitious for all.”


Councillor Stephen Alambritis – Labour

Labour secured a majority of 36 seats to the Conservatives’ 20 after four years of minority rule to return Cllr Stephen Alambritis as Merton Council Leader. 

“The electorate of this borough deserve the best and they’ve chosen the best party to help them in difficult times,” said Cllr Alambritis.

Kensington and Chelsea

Councillor Nick Paget-Brown – Conservative

The Conservatives comfortably retained control of Kensington and Chelsea for the 50th consecutive year, winning 38 out of 50 seats.

Cllr Nicholas Paget-Brown was re-elected as council leader following his party’s commanding victory.


Councillor Lord True – Conservative

The Conservatives regained control of the borough for the first time since 1978 by taking a convincing majority of 39 seats to 15 over the Liberal Democrats.

The result ensured Cllr Lord True retained his role as Richmond Council Leader.

He said: “It is a great vote of confidence by the public in the borough in the work that the council has been doing in the last four years.”


Councillor Tony Newman – Labour

Labour regained control of Croydon Council for the first time since 2006 by taking a 40-30 victory over the Conservatives to oust former council leader Mike Fisher.

Cllr Tony Newman was elected new council leader on 23 May and will formally take the role at the council’s annual meeting on 3 June.

He said: “Politics is tough at the moment – people out there are a little bit disillusioned, but we’ve made a small step tonight in getting people back involved again.”

“I am very proud Labour had a manifesto, and was ambitious for Croydon. Now we have to deliver on it.”


Councillor Ravi Govindia – Conservative

Cllr Ravi Govindia retained the leadership of Wandsworth council after the Conservatives regained control of the borough for the 10th consecutive time.

The Tories won a convincing 41 out of 60 seats but the new council will feature a heavier Labour presence as they gained six new seats.

Tooting MP Sadiq Khan said: “These are the best results for Tooting Labour in three decades and I would like to wish a huge congratulations to all our fantastic new councillors.”


Councillor Kevin Davis – Conservative

A crushing Conservative victory in Kingston ended 12 years of Liberal Democrat control and ousted Cllr Liz Green as council leader.

Cllr Kevin Davis was elected new council leader on May 28, after former party leader Cllr Howard Jones was forced to stand down through illness.

Cllr Davis returned to the council after losing his seat in 2006 and two unsuccessful attempts at election to parliament.

He said: “For the last 12 years the councillors and executive members haven’t pulled the levers of power enough.”

“We believe that councillors need more control over what goes on in the borough.”

Hammersmith and Fulham

Councillor Stephen Cowan – Labour

Labour sensationally took control of Hammersmith and Fulham Council, claiming 11 seats from the Conservatives to win 26-20.

The result ousted former council leader Nicholas Botterill, who also stepped down from his role as party leader, and saw him replaced by Cllr Stephen Cowan.

Cllr Cowan tweeted on his account @stephencowan: “I am grateful for the trust people have shown in electing us. Cameron’s favourite council just voted Labour.”

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