Lewisham elects first black woman as mayor in UK

Lewisham has made history with the first black woman winning a directly-elected mayoral role in the UK.

Brenda Dacres, who ran for Labour, was elected Mayor of Lewisham after securing 21,576 votes – a 51.5 per cent share – yesterday.

​​Green Party candidate Michael Herron came second with 6,835 votes. The Liberal Democrats came third in the ballot with 4,896 votes, followed by the Conservatives on 3,784.

Turnout for the election was low with only 20.73 per cent of the electorate taking part in the vote.

The by-election followed Damien Egan’s resignation on January 10, to stand as a Parliamentary candidate in Bristol – an election he has since won.

Mayor Dacres said: It’s a privilege and an honour to be the first black woman to serve as a directly elected Mayor in the UK. 

“Our borough is my home of 40 years and where I raised my son. My parents came here as part of the Windrush generation and instilled in me their ethics of community and hard work. 

Mayor Brenda Dacres (Picture: Lewisham council)

“Over the past 10 years it has been an honour to serve as a councillor, cabinet member and as your Deputy Mayor. 

“I’m excited to be in a position to drive forward the changes we need to ensure we keep moving Lewisham forward and make sure the voices of residents and businesses are heard. 

“I’ve spent a lifetime fighting against low expectation. I didn’t accept them for me and I’ll never accept them for Lewisham residents.”

Mayor Dacres has lived in Lewisham for more than 40 years. Her parents came to England from Jamaica in the 1960s as part of the Windrush generation – her father working as a mechanic and black cab driver, and her mum as an NHS nurse. 

A councillor since 2014, Mayor Dacres has represented wards in New Cross and Deptford. She has been deputy mayor and cabinet member for housing development and planning since 2021.

Pictured top: Lewisham’s new Mayor, Brenda Dacres (Picture: Lewisham council)

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