Former Big Brother contestant slashes Tory majority in Kensington and Chelsea by-election


Beinazir Lasharie represented the Labour party in the Norland ward by-election last night.


By Nadine Burnham-Marshalleck

Labour took a massive swipe at the Tories’ lead in Kensington and Chelsea’s Norland ward by-election last night.

Former Big Brother housemate and youth worker Beinazir Lasharie represented the Labour party.

“Last night’s result was a massive achievement.  I’m very happy,” said Ms Lasharie.

The former reality-television star explained her 2009 appearance on the show did not hinder her popularity with voters.

She said: “I’m a real woman, I’ve grown up in the area, I live with my parents in social housing because I can’t afford to move out. Voters can relate to me.

“You can’t win everyone around, but even after Big Brother I didn’t go around in Nuts magazine or in the whole celebrity thing that people do.

“I didn’t get my boobs out or sell stories. I didn’t go out and fall out of nightclubs with my knickers hanging out.”

Last night’s by-election was called in the wake of Andrew Lamont’s controversial resignation.

“We had limited time to campaign because unfortunately the councillor had to resign under some very suspicious circumstances,” said Ms Lasharie.

Mr Lamont resigned on 30th August after it emerged he had been charged regarding indecent internet images.

Critics are concerned by the Conservatives’ delay in announcing Mr Lamont’s departure and calling a by-election.

Ms Lasharie said: “For 11 months he was still on the books as a councillor but he was not active.  People are not given information; it is not an inclusive council.

“This is not personal to all Conservatives, but as a power they have shown their true colours, how sneaky they can be and how disconnected they are from the people.”

Kensington and Chelsea Council have stood by their statement released last month.

In the statement, the council said: “11 months ago, Mr Lamont had requested unpaid leave of absence from the council, which had been granted.”

Labour councillors have refuted this claim and insist Mr Lamont made no formal request for leave of absence.

Despite the controversy surrounding the by-election, the Conservatives held Norland after securing a 675 vote lead.

However, Labour’s 438 votes indicate an 8.8% swing from the Conservatives.

Conservative Catherine Faulks will represent Norland and Ms Lasharie was one of the first to congratulate her win.

She said: “I congratulated her but I immediately said it’s not about us, it’s about the people. 

“So you will be seeing me and you will be hearing from me because I have a bunch of cases regarding people who need your help.”

The result marked Labour’s best performance in Norland, which is a notorious Tory stronghold.  

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