Labour’s Leonie Cooper wins GLA seat for Merton & Wandsworth to end 16 years of Conservative control

Labour has edged out the Conservatives in a tight election race to win the GLA seat for Merton and Wandsworth for the first time.

Cheers rang out as Leonie Cooper, deputy leader of Wandsworth council and an ardent environmental campaigner, secured the win with 77,340 votes, followed closely by David Dean on 73,000.

Ms Cooper said: “I feel fantastic. It has been a long campaigned we have finally won and we are absolutely delighted.”

She said her top three priorities would be to impose controls over private sector renting, tackle London’s declining air-quality, and reversing budget cuts to local police.

Her victory brings an end to 16 years of Conservative control of the seat, which was first won by Elizabeth Howlett in 2000.

Richard Tracey had held the seat since 2008 but stepped down and retired earlier this year after more than 25 years in frontline politics.

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