Assembly trio re-elected with added tension
PUBLISHED: 15:55 08 May 2008 | UPDATED: 15:03 07 September 2010
TEARS, tantrums and tension were the buzzwords of the London Assembly constituency elections in Barnet, Camden, Haringey and Westminster late into Friday night
Katie Davies at the count
TEARS, tantrums and tension were the buzzwords of the London Assembly constituency elections in Barnet, Camden, Haringey and Westminster late into Friday night.
The three incumbents - Joanne McCartney, Labour Assembly Member for Enfield and Haringey, Brian Coleman, Conservative for Barnet and Camden, and Kit Malthouse, Conservative for West Central (Westminster) - were all re-elected to the Assembly.
But despite the steady results, fireworks were certainly not off the agenda.
Early in the Enfield and Haringey vote, Matthew Laban, Conservative candidate for the seat and leading member of Enfield Council, seemed to be stealing the race.
He told the Ham&High: "The votes are looking good and with Boris winning, it's a good day for the Conservatives. The 'time for a change' argument has resonated with voters. I'm just crossing my fingers now."
However, his good luck pleas didn't do the job as Joanne McCartney edged ahead to win the seat by just 1,402 votes.
Ms McCartney pledged to make amends with residents who voted against her.
"Any residents with any issues should feel free to contact me and I will do my best for them," she said.
"I always knew this was going to be close as it was one of the most marginal seats in London and the Tories' top target. I have done my best over the last four years to stand up for the residents of Enfield and Haringey. I am very pleased residents elected me again."
The tension was equally felt in Barnet and Camden, but came after the votes were counted.
The re-crowned assembly member, Brian Coleman, used his victory speech to launch an attack on his rival and former Deputy Mayor, Nicky Gavron.
Mr Coleman slammed her for making fun of the ceremonial chain he wears as Deputy Chairman of the London Assembly - calling it his "bling".
"Tonight has proved one thing," he blasted. "You can import candidates from outside our A to Z but it doesn't make a blind bit of difference.
"I say to the Deputy Mayor that her hands are dripping with blood for carrying the Olympic torch and she can take her A to Z back to Haringey because the people of Barnet and Camden have rejected her.
"She says I had bling. Well the King of Bling is back and proud to represent the people of Barnet and Camden."
Ms Gavron said she was "astonished" by the attack and "couldn't believe it".
Over in Olympia, where the counts were being collected for West Central, Conservative Kit Malthouse won by 51,381 votes.
He said it was "a brilliant result for the Conservatives but it is also a brilliant result for London," given the high voter turnout.
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