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Greens win landslide byelection in Keir Starmer's constituency with candidate who defected from Labour

Greens win landslide byelection in Keir Starmer's constituency with candidate who defected from Labour

A former Labour councillor has won a landslide victory for the Green Party in a north London byelection.

Lorna Russell defected to the Greens in 2021 and was elected to Camden council - the local authority in Sir Keir Starmer's Holborn and St Pancras constituency - with 1,513 votes.

She won more than twice the number of Labour's Patricia Leman, who came second at the count on Thursday night.

The Highgate ward seat has been held by Sian Berry since 2014.

The byelection was called after she was selected to run as the Green MP candidate in Brighton and quit the council to focus on her parliamentary campaign.

Ms Russell increased her party's vote share in the ward by 15 points, while Labour's dropped 13 points.

Green's deputy leader Zack Polanski tweeted: "The Green Party just won the council seat in Keir Starmers seat with 59% of the vote."Huge congratulations to our new councillor."

Labour won a large majority in Camden at last year's local elections, taking 47 out of 55 seats.Islington Green councillor Benali Hamdache, who managed the Highgate campaign, said: "Voters just weren’t keen on another seat turning red."

Ms Russell was first elected as a Labour councillor in 2014. But she defected to the Greens in 2021, when she was deputy mayor of Camden council.

At the time she said she had become "extremely disappointed by the Labour party in recent years".