Waltham Forest Echo

Waltham Forest Echo

Waltham Forest Labour gives away seat by expelling own candidate

The party now has only two candidates in a ward that has elected three Labour councillors since 2006

Hero for Waltham Forest Labour gives away seat by expelling own candidate
By Victoria Munro 13 April 2022

Waltham Forest Labour has given away a possible council seat, expelling one of its own candidates in a ward the party has dominated for more than a decade.Waltham Forest Labour has given away a possible council seat, expelling one of its own candidates in a ward the party has dominated for more than a decade.

Nominations for next month’s local election were finalised on 5th April, meaning it is too late for new candidates to enter the race or even to edit the ballot paper.Nominations for next month’s local election were finalised on 5th April, meaning it is too late for new candidates to enter the race or even to edit the ballot paper.

This means the party now only has two candidates running in Grove Green ward, an area which has consistently elected three Labour councillors at every election since 2006.This means the party now only has two candidates running in Grove Green ward, an area which has consistently elected three Labour councillors at every election since 2006.

However, the thousands of ballot papers prepared for next month’s election will still list three Labour candidates, next to the Labour party logo, in the race as it is too late for them to be changed.However, the thousands of ballot papers prepared for next month’s election will still list three Labour candidates, next to the Labour party logo, in the race as it is too late for them to be changed.

A spokesperson for Labour declined to state why the party expelled Cllr Anna Mbachu, who was chosen by a vote of ward party members last month. A spokesperson for Labour declined to state why the party expelled Cllr Anna Mbachu, who was chosen by a vote of ward party members last month. 

This is despite a previous attempt to deny her the chance to represent the party in the May election being overturned by an appeal only two months ago.This is despite a previous attempt to deny her the chance to represent the party in the May election being overturned by an appeal only two months ago.

She was one of four current councillors who was initially refused the chance to run for re-election by an interview panel, although the only one to successfully contest the decision.She was one of four current councillors who was initially refused the chance to run for re-election by an interview panel, although the only one to successfully contest the decision.

Also refused by the panel were cabinet member Cllr Liaquat Ali and his two relatives Cllrs Hather and Umar Ali, who all also appealed but were unsuccessful. Also refused by the panel were cabinet member Cllr Liaquat Ali and his two relatives Cllrs Hather and Umar Ali, who all also appealed but were unsuccessful. 

Cllr Liaquat Ali was the only person to run against current leader Grace Williams to take over the council after former leader Clare Coghill resigned, reportedly losing by only two votes. Cllr Liaquat Ali was the only person to run against current leader Grace Williams to take over the council after former leader Clare Coghill resigned, reportedly losing by only two votes. 

If elected next month, Cllr Mbachu will sit on the council as an independent councillor, meaning she will not be able to participate in the Labour leadership vote immediately post-election.If elected next month, Cllr Mbachu will sit on the council as an independent councillor, meaning she will not be able to participate in the Labour leadership vote immediately post-election.