Conservative Party suffer losses in Lambeth as Green Party rise

Despite harbouring hopes of building on their three seats in Lambeth, the Conservative Party saw their numbers in the borough reduced to just one at the local election count on Friday.

The rise of the Green Party from one seat to five, with successes in wards such as St. Leonards, Herne Hill and Gipsy Hill, and the swing to Labour in London, have affected the Tories all along Lambeth.

Councillor Tim Briggs is the last remaining Tory, and admitted his party’s demise was down to the will of the local electorate.

He said: “It’s a shame because you spend four years working really hard for the ward and representing constituencies.

“And you don’t get your colleagues elected but that is democracy, that is what people of Clapham Common have chosen.”

“I´ll just do my best and try to represent them the best that I can,” he added.

When asked about future coalitions with the Green Party, he said he agrees with his Green colleagues on the need to regenerate Lambeth.

However, Cllr Briggs said he doesn’t know what’s the Green position in terms of finances or tax.

“We will find out now, as they are the official opposition,” he added.

These four years have not been an easy path for Tories because of the lack of opposition councillors at Lambeth Council.

From the 63 seats in 2014, 58 (59 originally) were held by Labours, three by Conservatives, one by the Greens and one was an independent and former Labour councillor, Rachel Heywood.

“Actually, being leader of the opposition is quite punishing because you have to have a position on everything and there was only me and my two colleagues

“I’m definitively will take some time off because I’ve been promising myself for about four years,” he added.

“My businesses have been affected, my work has been affected, my family’s life has been affected, so I’m going back to my family and my work and trying to get back on track with that.”

Laura Swaffield, co-chair of Lambeth campaign group Defend the Ten, admitted she felt slightly disappointed about the electoral results.

“One political party has an enormous majority on a council.

“It’s never a good or a healthy thing.

“So, we have more Greens, and five Greens is better than one green, but five of anything doesn’t make an opposition when the vast majority is Labour.”

Other parties, such as the Liberal Democrats, were only close to get some seats in Streatham Wells but were defeated by the Labours.

This means Lambeth Greens will now assume the role of official opposition on the council.

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