In Westminster, former Deputy Leader Tim Roca won in his hometown of Macclesfield, overturning a Conservative majority of over 10,000 to lead Labour to a win of over 9,000 votes. Having unseated the former Foreign Office Minister David Rutley, the result was consistent with Labour re-establishing itself in some of its former heartland seats.

In the nearby seat of Tatton – formerly held by Neil Hamilton, Martin Bell, and George Osborne – Ryan Jude, one of Westminster City Council’s rising stars and the Cabinet Member for Climate, Ecology & Culture, fought a valiant campaign to overturn Esther McVey’s 17,000 majority, who lost out by just over 1,000 votes. He is expected to return to the City Council and continue to drive forward its response to the Climate Emergency.

From the Westminster City Council Labour Group, Jess Toale, one of Labour’s West End members and the Deputy Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Arts, was also successful in overturning a 10,000+ majority in Bournemouth West. She unseated the former Minister Conor Burns in another Labour triumph with a majority of over 3,000.

With Cllr Roca having stood down from the Cabinet in 2023 and Jess Toale having divided her time between the West End and Bournemouth in recent months, there are not expected to be significant changes to Westminster City Council’s executive. The focus continues to be on driving forward the Fairer Westminster agenda and policies and retaining control of the authority within the first term of a Labour Government in 2026.  

Cllr Roca’s election to Parliament is likely to trigger a by-election in the rock-solid Labour stronghold of the Harrow Road Ward. Jess Toale’s election may also trigger a by-election in the high profile, and what will be highly contested, West End Ward which covers much of Westminster’s Central Activities Zone.

Finally, in the newly-created Kensington and Bayswater constituency, which includes the two westerly Westminster wards of Bayswater and Lancaster Gate, as well as the Labour-leaning northern part of the former Kensington constituency, Joe Powell prevailed for Labour by 2,900 votes – beating the former Kensington MP Felicity Buchan in the process. This was consistent with voting in the two Westminster wards in recent local elections, with Bayswater having swung increasingly to Labour, and Lancaster Gate, which was formerly represented by high-profile local government figures Sir Simon Milton and Robert Davis MBE, having returned two Labour councillors in 2022.

The campaign had seen a high-profile argument in recent weeks about the closure of Kensington Palace Gardens to pedestrians and cyclists, which led to the eventual reopening of the street, which includes many Embassies, to public access.

Joe Powell’s victory was also in spite of Emma Dent Coad, a sitting Kensington & Chelsea councillor, former Labour MP for the constituency and Grenfell Tower campaigner, resigning from the Party in 2023 to run as an Independent.

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