LABOUR were celebrating last night after unexpectedly winning five seats on the City of London’s Common Council.
City of London elections are unusual in that the electorate is comprised of not only local residents but also voters appointed by companies and businesses in the “Square Mile” — the financial centre of the capital.
The City of London Corporation claims that “the City is the only area in the country in which the number of workers significantly outnumbers the residents and therefore, to be truly representative of its population, offers a vote to City organisations so they can have their say on the way the City is run.”
Labour increased its representation from one to an unprecedented five in the latest poll after fielding eight candidates in six wards.
The remaining 95 seats were taken by independents or candidates with no party description.
Labour’s Richard Crossan, who was elected unopposed in Aldersgate ward, said: “For us to get a single seat in Guildhall was unthinkable a few years ago.
“For the small but spirited Labour Party here in the Square Mile, this is a very special day indeed.”
However Labour celebrations were put on ice after it emerged that a by-election in a Labour-held seat in the Higher Croft ward of Blackburn will have to be re-run after the winning Labour candidate Adam Holden was disqualified as ineligible.
Returning Officer Harry Catherall said in a statement later that Mr Holden had “advised me that he had made a genuine mistake with regards to his eligibility to stand.”
He added: “I will now make arrangements to re-run the election in due course.”