Labour held on to a close-fought byelection in Seven Sisters ward of Haringey borough council, surviving despite the recent resignations of the Leader and a member of the Cabinet over the ‘Baby P’ scandal. The byelection had seen all three main parties dragoon activists from all over London, and also attracted former Conservative candidate Lydia Rivlin to stand as an Independent for “Remember Victoria and Baby P”, but Labour held on by 64 votes.
In the other byelection held on 15 January, the Conservatives held Newent Central ward on Forest of Dean district council easily.
Indigo are aware of three recent changes of allegiance by councillors. Mark Ereira-Guyer, elected as a Labour councillor in St Olaves ward of St Edmundsbury borough council, has joined the Green Party over the decision by the Government to permit a third runway to be built at Heathrow Airport.
Edward Houlton, elected as Community Action Party councillor for Lowton East to Wigan borough council, has joined the Conservatives, making them the official opposition on the council. On Croydon borough council, Croham ward’s Maria Gatland has been restored to the Conservative group by leader Mike Fisher. She had been thrown out of the Conservative group in December when her involvement in IRA gunrunning in the early 1970s was revealed, despite having renounced her actions in 1973.