Triple Tory trouble in London as boroughs of Westminster, Wandsworth and Barnet fall: Capital turns red in night of shocks for Conservatives
- Wandsworth, Westminster and Barnet councils have all been taken by Labour
- All three councils have been held by the Conservatives for several decades
- Wandsworth is also famously known as Margaret Thatcher’s favourite council
Labour have seized control of three Tory strongholds in London with voters in the capital turning their back on Boris Johnson’s party.
Wandsworth, Westminster and Barnet were all snapped up by Labour in a shocking night for the Conservatives.
The boroughs have all been long held by the Tory party, with Wandsworth seen as a flagship council.
It has been in Tory hands since 1978 and is famously known as Margaret Thatcher’s favourite council.
Westminster has been in Tory hands since its creation in 1964, while Barnet has been Tory dominated since the same year with a Conservative majority since 2002.
The red wave in London is sure to increase pressure on the PM, who is facing further calls to quit from local Tory leaders amid a slew of losses in the local elections.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Labour party MP Dr. Rosena Allin-Khan react after Labour win Wandsworth Council
Two candidates wearing rosettes of the Conservative party stand during the counting process at the Westminster City Council local election
A British Labour Party candidate celebrates a win announcement amidst the counting process at the Westminster City Council
The new Labour leader of Wandsworth council said his party’s victory signalled it was ‘time for change’ at the top of the Government.
Wandsworth’s new Labour leader Simon Hogg said: ‘We are going to build a compassionate council that truly listens and keep that same low council tax.
‘But when we were calling around on voters we didn’t even have to raise partygate, we didn’t have to mention Boris Johnson. People have formed their own views on this Government, so I am afraid it is time for change at the top as well.’
London’s Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan said that ‘history has been made’ with the Labour victory in Wandsworth.
Ravi Govindia, leader of the Wandsworth Tories, said: ‘Let’s not be coy about it, of course national issues were part of the dilemma people were facing.’
After results were declared from 53 councils, the Tories had lost control of two authorities and were down 55 councillors, Labour had a net gain of one council and 21 councillors, the Lib Dems had one authority and 31 more seats while the Greens had put on 19 councillors.
The loss of Wandsworth will be a significant blow because of its symbolic status in London. It turned blue in 1978, a year before Margaret Thatcher’s election as prime minister and was reputedly her favourite council, renowned for its low taxes.
Sadiq Khan celebrates a win announcement amidst the counting process during local elections, at Wandsworth Town Hall
London’s Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan said that ‘history has been made’ with the Labour victory in Wandsworth
A Conservative Party supporter reacts to the counting process during local elections, at Wandsworth Town Hall,
No official result has yet been announced for Westminster, though the Conservatives are increasingly pessimistic about the situation in the council
‘Boris Johnson losing Wandsworth is monumental. This was the Tories’ jewel in the crown,’ a Labour source said.
No official result has yet been announced for Westminster, though the Conservatives are increasingly pessimistic about the situation in the council.
‘We will lose it,’ a senior Tory source said.
In Barnet, the result is also yet to be made official, although Barnet Tory leader Dan Thomas is said to have already conceded to his Labour counterpart.
The leader of the Labour group in Barnet, Barry Rawlings, told the BBC: ‘I’ve been feeling confident for a while.’
The Tories lost Southampton to Labour and West Oxfordshire and Worcester to no overall control.
The PM was said to be pessimistic about his party’s chances of avoiding a drubbing, with the BBC reporting he yesterday told aides ahead of ballot papers being counted: ‘We are going to get our a*** kicked tonight.’
Local Conservatives taking a beating at the ballot box were already turning on the PM in the early hours of this morning, with one calling on Mr Johnson to now ‘consider his position’.
Conservative leader of Carlisle City Council John Mallinson urged Tory MPs to decide whether they wanted Mr Johnson to lead them into the next general election.
He told Sky News the PM ‘must shoulder an awful lot of the blame’ for a poor local elections performance and described how Partygate and the cost-of-living crisis were key concerns of voters.
Mr Mallinson said there was a feeling among the public that ‘the Government are not in touch and, sadly I have to say, the PM cannot be relied upon to be telling the truth’.
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