Hampstead seat among Labour wins in Camden landslide
- Credit: Nathalie Raffray
Camden Labour swept to victory in the local elections, including taking its first Hampstead seat.
The party won 47 seats, while the Liberal Democrats took one in Fortune Green and three in Belsize Park, where Conservative group leader Oliver Cooper failed in his challenge, having moved from Hampstead Town.
The Tories took two seats in Frognal and one in Hampstead Town, down from the seven they previously had in total, and the Liberal Democrats become the official opposition.
Sian Berry is the sole Green councillor, having held her Highgate seat.
Barnet, Wandsworth and Westminster fell to Labour in a night that saw heavy losses for the Conservatives in London.
Hampstead Town was one of the biggest surprises of the night with Adrian Cohen being elected as first Labour councillor in its history, alongside the re-elected Conservative Stephen Stark.
"I wanted to help the party by standing," said a stunned Adrian. "I want to bring residents' concerns to the heart of the council because their hasn't been a Labour councillor to give voice to their particular concerns."
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Labour group leader Cllr Georgia Gould said in her speech: "Tonight has been an overwhelming and sometimes surprising victory for Labour and I'd like to thank every Labour voter who put their faith in Camden Labour.
"You've elected in this room the most passionate diverse group of candidates we have ever seen and I know they will serve Camden every single day."
She said Labour's "positive vision" for Camden included addressing the cost of living crisis and the climate crisis.
"We will deliver for the people of Camden," she added.
She said that while it had been a "generally great" campaign, candidates had seen "some instances of really horrible racism".
"I just want to say to those racists in Camden that this is no place to behave and we have sent a strong message," she said.
She thanked former Conservative opposition leader Oliver Cooper for all his service, saying: "He has served Camden for a long time and given a lot to the borough so I thank him for all his service."
She said outgoing Liberal Democrat leader Luisa Porritt, who is standing down, would be "a great loss" to the borough.
Cllr Tom Simon, who was re-elected to Belsize Park along with fellow Lib Dems Judy Dixey and Jonathan Kirk, said: "It's nice to have a few more of us. We are now the largest opposition group and will be working hard to bring the administration to account."