Lambeth Labour councillors are still reeling from the news that Chief Executive Bayo Dosunmu was arrested on 21 June. The drama following his suspension and probable removal will have profound consequences for the stability and effectiveness of the Council’s leadership. This is the biggest issue facing Leader Claire Holland at the moment.

However, the General Election has brought further changes that will cause some additional headaches for Cllr Holland. The election of a senior councillor to Parliament will leave gaps in her Cabinet that need filling, along with a stand-alone byelection in Herne Hill & Loughborough Junction ward where the Green Party will be well-placed to challenge Labour.

Cabinet Member for Healthier Communities Jim Dickson’s election as MP for Dartford will bring an end to a 34-year career as a Lambeth councillor – a feat probably unrivalled by any senior London Labour councillor. In that time Jim has served as Leader (1998-2000) and has had a continuous presence in the Cabinet since 2006. Jim’s most important role has been a voice of experience and authority in the Cabinet with unrivalled institutional and historic knowledge – future leaders of the Council will be disappointed to lose him.

Though Jim and his Labour colleagues won Herne Hill & Loughborough Junction Ward convincingly in 2022, the Ward has traditionally been marginal with a strong Green Party presence and one Green councillor serving in two previous terms. The Green Party will be excited by the opportunity to challenge Labour in a stand-alone byelection in which Labour will struggle to motivate its supporters.

Claire Holland is likely to be relieved that two Labour colleagues – Nanda Manley-Browne and Marianna Masters – were not elected in the Conservative/ Liberal Democrat battleground seats in which they stood for Labour.

Georgia Gould’s election as an MP leaves Claire Holland in pole position to be the next Chair of London Councils – the collective body that represents London local government.

There were no surprises from the election results in the Lambeth constituencies, with Labour sweeping the board and retaining all seats. Florence Eshalomi (Vauxhall & Camberwell Green – a new seat partially in Southwark borough), Bell Ribeiro-Addy (Clapham & Brixton Hill) and Helen Hayes (Dulwich & West Norwood) were all comfortably re-elected.

Former Leader of Lambeth Council Steve Reed returns to Lambeth as the MP for the new seat of Streatham & Croydon North. Should he be appointed to Keir Starmer’s Cabinet then it’s likely he won’t take an active role in local development and council affairs.

Do you have questions about how this could impact your sites or interest in Lambeth? Don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Subscribe to our newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the latest news in the sector