Labour’s Liza Begum wins Westminster Council by-election

By Owen Sheppard, local democracy reporter

Labour’s Liza Begum has won the Westminster Council by-election in Churchill ward, Pimlico.

Her victory with a 324 vote majority means that Labour retains the seat, after a more closely fought race with the Conservatives at the 2018 council elections.

The election was triggered in March when councillor Andrea Mann announced she was resigning to focus on caring for a family member.

Westminster Council is controlled by the Conservative group, who have 41 councillors to Labour’s 19.

Ms Begum, who previously worked as a personal assistant in the NHS, said: “I’m ecstatic.

“I won with a large majority and that’s really significant, it shows the community really wants change.

The Pimlico Road resident added: “Housing is a huge issue.

“The fact that there’s a lot of over development… and without residents being properly consulted. And many of them don’t include housing that is really affordable to local people, so residents feel that they are being pushed out.”

The leader of the opposition Labour group, councillor Adam Hug, tweeted: “Huge congratulations to our new Cllr for Churchill ward the wonderful @LizaBegum_ who fought an amazing campaign and will be [a] huge asset to her community, to the council and to our Labour Group. Majority of 324 over the Conservatives after a competitive by-election.”

The full results were:

Liza Begum, Labour: 1,340

Shaista Miah, Conservative: 1,016

Vikas Aggarwal, Liberal Democrat: 295

Zack Polanski, Green Party: 186

Andrew Cavell, The For Britain Movement: 99

The other two sitting councillors in Churchill ward are Murad Qureshi (Conservative) and Shamim Talukder (Labour).



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