Green Party surge helps them become official opposition in Lambeth

The Green Party are the official opposition for Labour in Lambeth after gaining four seats, while the Conservatives ended with just one.

The Green Party, having never had more than one seat in the borough, increased that to five and took complete control of St Leonard’s ward.

The party’s co-leader Jonathan Bartley was beaming on stage with his fellow St Leonard’s councillors, Scott John Ainslie and Nicole Griffiths. Becca Thackray topped the polls with 2,365 votes in Herne Hill and Pete Elliott took a seat in Gipsy Hill.

Councillor Bartley said: “I am delighted with the result. We weren’t sure if we were going to get it so to come and see all of the support has been fantastic.”

He said: “We’re seeing a slow but steady increase of councillors in the Green Party, all working hard on local issues. It’s important to have another voice and we’re all really looking forward to getting to work within our wards.”

One of the key issues for voters in this election was housing.

Becca Thackray, who was elected as the first Green Councillor in 2006, said: “I’ve been here before but this time it feels very different. Greens will now be the major opposition to Labour.”

‘‘If there is threats to an estate, like there are now in Cressingham for example, we can push to have those tenants balloted as was agreed Labour conference, and surely the councillors should agree to that seeing as it’s their own party policy.’’

‘’I am one councillor of three in a ward so I don’t think that I can change Labour’s whole housing policy but what I can do is, using the wishes of the residents in housing estates in my ward, is make sure that their estates aren’t torn down, aren’t under threat and they are not in insecure housing.”

Despite Green gains Labour walked away with another landslide victory after winning 57 seats, one down from the last election in 2014.

Leader of Lambeth Council, Elizabeth (Lib) Peck, looked delighted with the result and positioned herself in the front row to support the wave of reds taking to the stage.

On being re-elected in Thorton, she said: “This is a real vote of confidence from the residents that I represented there for 17 years.”

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