Council leader Jas Athwal can finally celebrate winning his seat in Parliament following a much-maligned process that began in 2016.

A last-minute accusation, that some attribute to his political opponents, led to Athwal’s candidacy being blocked by the party ahead of the 2017 election. His pro-Corbyn opponent then proceeded to win the seat in 2017 and 2019.

Last night, Athwal was ultimately victorious and will now hand over leadership of Redbridge to Cllr Kam Rai, his highly able Deputy.

Wes Streeting held his Ilford seat despite being heavily targeted due to his position on the conflict in Gaza. The slashing of his majority, which nearly saw him ousted, could see his future leadership ambitions put on the back burner.

Streeting is seen as potential future leader of the party and his progress as a minister, almost certainly in the health portfolio, will be keenly watched.

The changes locally should be small. The Labour councillor group is well established, having pushed opposition councillors into the few remaining pockets of anti-Labour sentiment in the borough, they will seek to build on the result today and finish the Tories off in 2026.

Their approach to the built environment should be aligned with the incoming Government. They will be eager to explore opportunities to deliver more housing in the borough unlocking the potential created by the Elizabeth line but is heavily constrained by significant areas of greenbelt in the borough. Labour’s much promised greenbelt review should allow Redbridge to unlock some of this lower quality greybelt land and begin to make an impact on their growing housing waiting list.

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