Two Waltham Forest councillors lose parliamentary bids at general election

Labour councillors Catherine Deakin and Rosalind Doré lost out to Conservative candidates last week, reports Sebastian Mann, Local Democracy Reporter

(Left) Cllr Deakin, Credit: Chris James, (Right) Cllr Dore, Credit: Neil Weeks

Two Waltham Forest Labour councillors have lost their attempts to enter parliament at the general election.

Councillors Catherine Deakin and Rosalind Doré both stood for Labour on 4th July but each lost out to Conservative candidates.

The landmark election saw Keir Starmer’s Labour Party triumph with 412 seats in the House of Commons, giving them a majority of 172 over rival parties.

The Tories finished in second place nationally, down 251 seats to a historic low of 121.

Scores of constituencies across the UK swung from blue to red, dismantling the Tories’ majority from 2019, but many clung on.

Despite a busy campaign, Cllr Deakin was runner-up to Tory candidate Lewis Cocking in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire.

She said that while it was “not the result we wanted,” the reduction in the Tories’ majority from nearly 20,000 to just shy of 3,000 meant they “cannot get complacent”.

In a statement, posted to X (formerly Twitter) by Broxbourne Labour, she said: “I know the Labour party in Broxbourne will continue to scrutinise and challenge their actions each and every single day to make sure they serve local families.”

She thanked the people who lent her their vote in a bid to “end 14 years of Tory chaos and call for an MP who prioritises public services”.

Cocking succeeded Sir Charles Walker as the constituency’s Tory MP, who stood down earlier this year. He won 15,810 votes, with Cllr Deakin receiving 12,952.

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Broxbourne has been a Conservative safe seat since 2005. Sir Charles had beaten the Labour candidate by 19,807 votes in 2019, winning an historic total of 30,631.

Cllr Doré, the council’s cabinet member for culture and leisure, faced a slightly wider defeat in Epping Forest. She lost to Conservative candidate Neil Hudson by almost 6,000 votes.

He was elected to the Essex seat with 18,083 votes. Cllr Doré followed with 12,356, while Liberal Democrat candidate Jon Whitehouse came in third with 5,268.

She said in a brief statement, posted on social media: “Although we didn’t win here, we slashed the Tory majority and ran a positive and hopeful campaign, focusing on the issues that matter most to people.

“We now have a Labour Government and the chance to begin renewing and rebuilding our country. I’m so proud that our campaign was a part of that and I will never stop fighting for a fairer and more equal society.”

Hudson had previously been the Conservative MP for Penrith and the Border, some 200 miles away in Cumbria.

He succeeded former deputy speaker and longstanding Tory MP Dame Eleanor Laing, who held the seat from 1997 until 2004. The former vet said he is keen to boost rural mental health, the BBC reports.

Councillors in other boroughs have also attempted to enter parliament, with differing rates of success.

In neighbouring Redbridge, Jas Athwal, the leader of Redbridge Council, was named the Labour MP for Ilford South, while in Chingford and Woodford Green, Brent councillor Shama Tatler contested Tory stalwart Iain Duncan Smith’s seat for Labour, but ultimately lost out.

The vote ended up split between Tatler and independent Faiza Shaheen, who launched her own campaign after being controversially deselected in June.

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