Conservative councillor wins by-election in majority Labour borough

By Ruby Gregory, Local Democracy Reporter

A majority Labour borough has a new Conservative councillor following a by-election held last night.

In the poll triggered by the death of Conservative councillor John Hills, Roger Tester won with 1,359 votes.

Cllr Tester will serve Mottingham, Coldharbour and New Eltham ward in Greenwich along with fellow ward councillors, Greenwich Conservatives leader Matt Hartley and Labour’s Cathy Dowse.

Greenwich council currently has 51 Labour councillors, three Conservative councillors and one Lib Dem councillor.

In last night’s by-election, which saw a voter turnout of 27.34 per cent, the Labour Party’s Nikki Thurlow came second with 1,101 votes, followed by Mark Simpson of Reform UK, who received 232 votes. Matt Stratford from the Green Party came fourth with 101 votes, and the Lib Dem’s Ulysse Abbate ended the night with 90 votes.

Cllr Hills represented the Mottingham, Coldharbour and New Eltham ward before his death on April 24, 2024, following a period of illness at age 86.

During his time at the council, Cllr Hills served as the opposition group whip and opposition spokesperson for health and adult social care, as well as being the president of the Greenwich Conservative Federation for 15 years.

Pictured top: The entrance to Woolwich Town Hall, where Greenwich council hold its meetings (Picture: Joe Coughlan)

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