Camden Council leader Sarah Hayward to step down

PUBLISHED: 18:40 05 April 2017 | UPDATED: 18:46 05 April 2017

Sarah Hayward, Labour leader of Camden Council

Sarah Hayward, Labour leader of Camden Council

© Nigel Sutton email

Sarah Hayward is stepping down as leader of Camden Council.

Cllr Theo Blackwell, cabinet member for finance, atop Camden Town Hall.    Picture: Nigel Sutton. Cllr Theo Blackwell, cabinet member for finance, atop Camden Town Hall. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Cllr Hayward wrote in a letter to Labour Party colleagues that “now is the right time to pass on the baton of leadership” to her successor – who will be picked at the group’s annual general meeting on May 2.

She will also quit as a councillor for King’s Cross in May 2018.

She said: “Before the 2014 local elections, I promised myself (and my husband) that I’d do just one more term as a councillor.

“When I started as leader, I set myself two principal goals: to leave Camden in a better place than when I started and to leave group with options for a strong successor as leader.

“I believe I have achieved both.”

Reacting to the news, Gospel Oak councillor and cabinet member for finance, technology and growth Theo Blackwell praised Cllr Hayward’s decision to step down and allow a new leader to “set out their stall”.

He added: “She has an extremely good track record to be proud of.

“In the tradition of Camden leaders, she has prioritised housing. But she has also fought tooth and nail to get the best deal on HS2 and is highly respected for that.”

Cllr Blackwell said she had also done a good job funding domestic violence services and early years work.

He added that he expects her to complete a master’s degree in international development.

Asked if he will be standing as leader, Cllr Blackwell said “now is not the day to talk about those things”. He stressed he is focused on ensuring Labour wins the upcoming Gospel Oak by-election on May 4.

In her letter, Cllr Hayward highlighted 12 areas of her administration – which began in 2012 – that make her “most proud”.

They include: tackling inequality, boosting housing, fighting HS2, helping refugees, preventing homelessness, working on community cohesion, and creating innovative policy.

Also mentioned are: building strong community partnerships, budgeting, making council tax more progressive, maintaining high-quality public services, winning residents’ satisfaction, strong campaigning and “showing there is an alternative to Tory dogma”.

West Hampstead councillor Phil Rosenberg, meanwhile, said he is “sorry” Cllr Hayward is stepping down.

He added: “She has been a fantastic leader – and in very challenging times.

“She showed strength, compassion and creativity during her leadership.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories


Police are appealing for information after a 15-year-old girl was shown explicit images by a man in King’s Cross on her way to school.


A man has been found guilty of murdering Derek McAllister over a minor argument in an East Finchley bookmaker’s in 2015.


Councillor Jenny Headlam-Wells was appointed as the new Mayor of Camden last night.


Flats at the new Hornsey Town Hall development have gone on the market, with campaigners criticising how expensive they are.


Campaigners against the CS11 cycle superhighway are seeking legal advice for a judicial review against the Swiss Cottage Gyratory part of the route.

Tue, 17:28

You may recognise singer Babs Savage from her annual appearances at the Hampstead Festival.

Mon, 21:26

Missing schoolgirl Isabella Newell has been found in Hertfordshire today after going missing on Saturday morning.


Wembley Sailing Club is hosting a Push the Boat Out event on Sunday May 20, where those interested in taking up the sport are invited to experience the club in action.

Preparing your child in advance for school will go a long way towards ensuring the very best start for your child.

After over 50 years in the acting industry, and a decade of unprecedented success delivering outstanding part-time performing arts tuition at her weekend Academies across the country, Pauline Quirke returns to her roots to create even more opportunities for young performers in North London.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now