Hyde Park remains Conservative stronghold as unbeaten run continues

Hyde Park will remain an all Conservative-led ward after Antonia Cox won a landslide victory in today’s by-election.

The Tory candidate polled 1,448 votes to hold the Conservative seat, well clear of her nearest rival Jack Gordon of the Labour party who received 563.

The Green party’s Mark Cridge won a tight battle for third with 182 votes, just four ahead of the Liberal Democrat candidate Martin Thompson.

The result sees Cllr Cox, who lives on Hyde Park Estate, join Conservative councillors Heather Acton and Jean-Paul Floru in representing a Hyde Park ward that has never been out of Tory control.

“I have lived in Hyde Park for 15 years so it’s fantastic to have the chance to represent it on the council and do the best I can for its residents,” she said.

“I knew that I had a lot of personal support from people that I have got to know over the years but nowadays there are no foregone conclusions in politics.”

The victorious Conservative says her immediate aim is to crack down on the issue of phone boxes on Edgware Road.

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“I want to work with Heather Acton on the phone boxes because of the big problem of prostitute cards,” she said.

“There are ways that we can put pressure on phone companies to get rid of what are simply advertising opportunities for them, but which cause a lot of irritation and serious crime problems for the community.”

Despite continuing the Conservative stronghold over Hyde Park, Cllr Cox’s 57.8 per cent of the vote saw a reduction from 68 per cent in 2006 and 64 per cent at the 2010 general election.

The Labour Party did not field any candidates last time around and their 23 per cent today marked their best ever result in the ward.

“I’m thrilled that this has turned out to be the best ever result for Labour,” said second-placed Mr Gordon.

“The Labour Party mouse has roared in Hyde Park and the reason is working closely with community groups because community activism can always trump political party activism.

“The Tory party are lucky to have somebody of such outstanding calibre and I just hope on behalf of her constituents that she does not just use it as a stepping stone for her to move into parliament.”

Third-placed candidate Mr Cridge said it was “fantastic” for the Green Party to beat the Lib Dems into third place and the result proved that his party was “coming of age”.

UKIP candidate the Earl Of Bradford Richard Bridgeman finished in fifth place with 96 votes while independent Abdulla Dharamsey brought up the rear with 40.

The turnout of 33.5 per cent was one of the lowest ever.

The Hyde Park by-election was triggered when former Westminster Council leader Cllr Colin Barrow announced he was to stand down in March.

He had earlier decided to resign as leader in January after months of controversy over proposed West End parking charges.