Belsize councillor Luisa Porritt ‘seriously considering’ Lib Dem mayoral candidate bid

Luisa Porritt. Picture: Harry Taylor

Luisa Porritt. Picture: Harry Taylor - Credit: Archant

Belsize councillor and former London MEP Luisa Porritt has told the Ham&High she is “seriously considering” standing to be the Liberal Democrat candidate for the London mayoralty.

Cllr Porritt, 33, is seen as a rising star within the party and quickly became deputy leader of the Lib Dem group in the European Parliament after her election in 2018. She was often a spokesperson for the party as it hoped to secure a second referendum on Brexit towards the end of 2019.

She was elected to Camden Council for the Belsize ward at the local elections in 2018, where her party recovered from the nadir of having just one councillor.

She confirmed she was “seriously considering” standing to be the mayoral candidate but declined to make any further comment.

Previous Lib Dem mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita stood down last week, citing the cost of running for the role unpaid. She became the second candidate to withdraw during this election, after independent Rory Stewart pulled out in May.

The election was due to take place in May this year, but was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In the latest polls, conducted five months ago in March, the Lib Dems were fifth with 4& of the vote. Incumbent Sadiq Khan had a 24-point lead over Conservative Shaun Bailey.

Locally, Cllr Porritt has campaigned for Abacus Belsize Primary School to move into the old Hampstead police station in Rosslyn Hill, and for the release of West Hampstead mum Nazanin Zaghari-Radcliffe from prison in Iran. She raised Nazanin’s case several times as an MEP.

The Ham&High visited her in Strasbourg in December, as Britain’s time in the European Union was coming to a close.

Ahead of Brexit, she said: “Its inevitable the UK will pivot back to the EU at some stage in the future.

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“It’s difficult to say when that will be, but we don’t have to lose everything overnight.”