Nine Hackney Labour councillors won't stand at next year's local elections
PUBLISHED: 15:49 29 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:57 29 September 2017
Nine of Hackney's 50 Labour councillors will not contest their seats at next year's local elections, the party has confirmed.
The members revealed they would be standing down at the group’s selection meeting earlier this month.
As reported this week, health chief Jonathan McShane will be giving up his seat in Haggerston to spend more time in his role as chair of HIV charity the Terrence Higgins Trust.
He said: “It’s been an enormous privilege to serve the residents of Hackney for so many years.
“I’ve been lucky to work with people and organisations that are making a huge difference to the lives of people across our borough and to play a part in some of the really positive changes that have taken place.
“It’s been a tough decision but now feels like the right time to consider other opportunities.”
The other high-profile departure will be that of finance boss and Victoria representative Cllr Geoff Taylor.
Elsewhere, Cllr McShane’s two colleagues in Haggerston – Cllr Barry Buitekant and Cllr Ann Munn – will be going, as will Cllr Taylor’s fellow ward member Cllr Will Brett.
Homerton’s Cllr Sally Mulready, De Beauvoir’s Cllr Laura Blunt, Hoxton East’s Cllr Tom Ebbutt and Stoke Newington’s Cllr Patrick Moule will also be waving farewell to the council chamber.
Left-wingers loyal to Jeremy Corbyn swept the board at the Hackney South and Shoreditch AGM following June’s election, leaving the right of the party all but kicked out of the top table.
But every councillor who sought reselection, regardless of political leaning, was granted it.
Heather Mendick, the secretary of Hackney South and Shoreditch Labour group, hinted that things may have been different had voting rules allowed newer members a say.
She told the Gazette: “We have a great team of Labour candidates for the council elections in May.
“Because of the Labour rules, the majority of the huge number of new members who have joined since Jeremy Corbyn became leader were not able to take part in the process of selecting our candidates but we’ll all be campaigning to get them elected.”