The Conservatives have won a council seat from Labour in a by-election race mired by accusations of transphobia.

Ian Sharer received 1,623 votes in the Cazenove ward vote on a turnout of 32%, gaining the Tories a seat won by Labour at the local elections two years ago.

Labour had initially hoped to replace councillor Caroline Woodley, who is now elected mayor, with its candidate Laura Pascal.

The party suspended Pascal less than a week before the poll took place on January 18, after accusations on social media that she had made “anti-trans” remarks, but reinstated her hours before voting began.

Pascal ultimately received the second highest vote tally, with the Green party’s Tamara Micner and Liberal Democrat Dave Raval finishing in third and fourth respectively.

In an exchange with another user on X that began on July 29 last year, Pascal claimed that “by definition” trans women are male.

But after being reinstated by the Labour party, Ms Pascal said: “I offer a heartfelt apology to the people of Cazenove ward, Hackney and anyone who has been offended by my social media activity, which fell well below the standard expected of someone seeking election to public office.

"It was a mistake to like some tweets that caused offence and a great deal of hurt.

"Ultimately, the people of Cazenove ward will make their own judgements on Thursday, but I hope they can find some reassurance in the fact that I have reflected deeply on my past social media activity and offer this apology unreservedly.”

Following the announcement of Cllr Sharer’s victory in the early hours of this morning (January 19), Hackney Conservatives said they were “delighted” to welcome him as the new councillor for Cazenove.

They added: “Thank you to the residents of Cazenove ward for this historic victory.

“We are honoured to be representing all our communities and will continue to oppose the rollout of LTNs.”

Full results


Here is a breakdown of who voters in Cazenove cast their ballots for in the order they appeared on voting slips:

  • Tamara Micner – Green party – 387
  • Laura Pascal – Labour Party – 935
  • Dave Raval – Liberal Democrat – 73
  • Ian Sharer – Conservative and Unionist Party – 1,623 - ELECTED