Labour steals Conservative stronghold Wandsworth for first time in 44 years

Labour has stolen the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the Conservative party today as it took Wandsworth borough in the local elections.

Wandsworth had been a Conservative stronghold since 1978 and the loss has marked a capital defeat for the Prime Minister.

Incoming Labour council leader Simon Hogg claimed the win with a majority of 35 seats out of the 58 available, with the Conservatives dropping to 22. 

Hogg has promised to build a new and caring council for residents whilst calling for an even bigger change at the top.

He said, “We will build a compassionate council that truly listens and keeps that same low council tax.

“We’re going to build genuinely affordable homes and safer, greener streets.

“When we were calling around on voters we didn’t even have to raise party gate, we didn’t have to mention Boris Johnson. 

“People have formed their own views on this government, so I am afraid it is time for change at the top as well.”

And as the results rolled in, watching from the side lines was London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who was also quick to take aim at Boris Johnson for the loss.

With scandal after scandal in recent months, Johnson’s government is feeling the effects in the aftermath of the London local elections.

Celebrating the Labour victory, Khan said, “A combination of Boris Johnson as a Conservative Prime Minister and Keir Starmer as leader has brought this seat home to Labour and it is the vindication of brilliant activists and leadership.

“But to be frank it’s a response to challenges from voters.”

Changes by the Local Government Boundary Commission meant that Wandsworth was cut from 60 to 58 seats this election, with the Independent Party claiming the 58th.

Outgoing Conservative leader Ravi Govindia was disappointed that his efforts had not been appreciated after running the council for 11 years.

He said, “Consistently on the doorstep the issue of Boris Johnson was raised. Inevitably other events have clouded the judgement of people in Wandsworth.

“Let’s not be coy about it, of course national issues were part of the dilemma people were facing.”

Govindia added that he had run the “most successful council” through cut council tax cuts and frozen rent.

“We have done exactly what the residents of Wandsworth wanted,” he said.

“To find that counts for nothing is a sad reflection of the importance of local government not being recognised.”

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