Labour wins Maryland and Forest Gate by-elections in Newham

Liz Cronin (L) and Melanie Onovo (R) have been elected as Labour councillors in Newham
-Credit: (Image: Newham Council via X)

Labour has held onto two wards in Newham following last week's by-elections. The by-elections, which took place on the same day as the General Election (July 4), saw Labour retain Maryland ward and Forest Gate North ward. Melanie Onovo is the new councillor for Maryland ward after she finished in first place with 1,626 votes, while Liz Cronin is the new councillor for Forest Gate North ward after winning 1,757 votes.

The by-elections were triggered following the recent departures of Ken Penton, who was a Labour councillor for Maryland and Sasha Das Gupta, who was a Labour councillor for Forest Gate North. In Maryland, Newham Independents' Linda Jordan came second with 896 votes while the Green's Chris Brooks finished in third place with 712 votes.

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The Conservative's Mary Antwi finished fourth with 360 votes and the Lib Dem's David Terrar came last with 185 votes. The voter turnout was 41.25per cent. Shortly after her win, Cllr Onovo posted on X: "I'm deeply honoured to have been elected councillor for Maryland. I am so moved by the faith residents have put in me. No matter how you voted, I’ll be a present advocate for your needs. A truly historic night for the country. The people have voted for change."

In Forest Gate North and finishing in the same order as Maryland, the Newham Independents' Zakaria Bhariwala was second with 1,073 votes while the Green's Zahra Kheyre finished in third place with 810 votes. In fourth place was the Conservative's Malcolm Madden with 251 votes while the Lib Dem's Jamie Bryant came last with 192 votes. The voter turnout was 53.35per cent.

Cllr Cronin said: "I'm so grateful to everyone who voted and campaigned, all across Newham and Forest Gate North. There's loads to do to earn the trust you’ve placed in us. I’ll share contact details ASAP [As Soon As Possible] and get to work – with all residents, however you voted." On July 18, there will be two more by-elections for Little Ilford ward and Beckton ward.

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