New councillor Maeve McCormack on landslide Labour victory in Gospel Oak by-election

New Gospel Oak councillor Maeve McCormack. Picture: Dieter Perry.

New Gospel Oak councillor Maeve McCormack. Picture: Dieter Perry. - Credit: Archant

Newly-elected Gospel Oak councillor Maeve McCormack says she will be sacrificing every evening and weekend for residents in her new role.

The 26-year-old celebrated a landslide victory in last Thursday’s Gospel Oak by-election, retaining the seat for Labour with 1,272 votes – far ahead of second-placed Tory contender Leila Roy’s 419.

Cllr McCormack, from Broadhurst Gardens, Swiss Cottage, said the win was thought to be Labour’s most convincing in Gospel Oak in modern times.

“It’s a huge privilege to have been elected and I feel really lucky to have been elected in the party’s greatest-ever victory in Gospel Oak,” she said.

“I think Gospel Oak will be getting all my evenings and weekends from here onwards but I will be continuing to work.”

Cllr McCormack graduated with a degree in law and a masters degree in human rights from Nottingham University before moving to Camden in 2008.

She then took up a role with a national charity, specialising in health and social care, which she will continue alongside her new role. The councillor will also continue as a governor at St Dominic’s Primary School, Southampton Road, as part of her election pledge to secure the future of schools in Gospel Oak.

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“Camden schools are fantastic and I’ve been really lucky to be part of a governing body where things have been improving really rapidly,” she said.

“I’m looking forward to meeting the local headteachers and getting involved with the other schools.”

The by-election was called last month following the resignation of former Camden environment boss, Sean Birch. His decision opened an opportunity for Cllr McCormack, a long-term Labour supporter, to take her party allegiance a step further.

“I’ve always been interested in politics and I became more involved after 2010 when the coalition government came to power,” she explained.

“I was a teenager when Labour won the general election in 1997 so I didn’t really remember what it was like not to live under a Labour government, so I was shocked into action in 2010. I was really concerned about the damage the Tory-led government was doing and I really felt that just being a Labour member and Labour supporter wasn’t enough.”

Just a week into the role, Cllr McCormack insists she has “hit the ground running”, adding: “I’ve been doing a lot – getting the admin sorted, getting surgeries set up.”

But the fledgling councillor is not getting carried away with the excitement surrounding last week’s by-election.

“My focus is on Gospel Oak,” she added. “I said throughout my election campaign that I wanted to serve the people of Gospel Oak and that’s what I’m focussing on.”