No surprise upset as Labour win Hackney Council by-election

Heroine of Hackney trails behind Greens

Labour has won Hackney Council’s Hackney Central Ward by-election

Their candidate Ben Hayhurst won overwhelmingly. There was no surprise upset from Lib Dems hopeful, Pauline Pearce, the so-called Heroine of Hackney who trailed behond the Greens candidate Mustafa Korel in third place.

It took under two hours to count the votes at Alexandra Palace this morning.

The Labour Party candidate secured 68.2% of the vote with 2,438 votes.

Mr Korel gained 545 votes, Ms Pearce secured 394 and Local Conservatives candidate Andrew Boff trailed with 196 votes.

Speaking just after the announcement, Mr Hayhurst said: “I feel fantastic. It’s a great result. A 68% share of the vote for Labour is a real endorsement of everything Hackney Labour has done on the council over the last ten years.

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“There have been real improvements and people have recognised that. I look forward to contributing to the council and doing everything I can for Hackney Central.

“I’m particularly passionate about youth provision and will be trying to do everything I can to improve that.

“At the same time we have got to battle with the cuts to try and maintain a great and high quality service across the borough whilst dealing with those cuts.”

Mr Korel said: “I feel like coming second is a really big message to Hackney Central residents that Greens do have a vision to make Hackney Central better. We are a growing party and it just shows that people are craving that difference.

“I hope my colleague keeps his promises and if he doesn’t he has got us to hold him to account.”

Ms Pearce, so-called “Heroine of Hackney” after she berated rioters in August, left before the results were announced.

Speaking during the count the 49-year old grandmother said: “Whatever the result I’m not going to break down and cry. If nothing else I have learnt a lot about politics and how dirty it can get but also how much fun it can be.”

Mr Boff did not attend the count.

Hackney Council CEO and returning officer Tim Shields announced the turnout was 41.45%.