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May-07-2012 12:33printcomments

Coleman Out as Dismore Returns to Power

While the mayoral race is still in doubt, Labour is also celebrating substantial gains in country-wide local elections.

Victor: Andrew Dismore
Victor: Andrew Dismore

(LONDON Barnet & Whetstone) - LABOUR’S Andrew Dismore will represent Barnet and Camden after wresting the London Assembly seat from Tory incumbent Brian Coleman.

Mr Dismore took the seat with 74,677 votes compared to Mr Coleman’s 53,378, while Green Party candidate Audrey Poppy took third place, with Lib Dem Chris Richards and Fresh Choice For London’s Michael Corby taking fourth and fifth place.

Nearly 170,000 turned out in the election following a campaign in which the senior Conservative councillor had been the subject a hostile campaign, spearheaded by residents and traders angered by the council’s removal of pay-and-display parking meters and hikes in on-street and residents parking charges.

The defeat means Mr Coleman will no longer pocket the £53,000 he earned as an assembly member, as well as the £26,000 members allowance for chairing the London Fire and Emergency Authority.

In his victory speech Mr Dismore sent his sympathies to Mr Coleman, adding that he understood what he would be feeling, having lost the parliamentary seat of Hendon he had held since 1997 at the 2010 general election to Conservative Matthew Offord by 106 votes.

He said the result represented a rejection to Conservative policies in Barnet, London and across the UK.

“In Barnet what we have seen is a complete rejection of Barnet Council,” he said. “A rejection of their One Barnet policies, a rejection of their attitude towards the public; their refusal to talk to people.”

But he added that he would be concentrating on holding the Mayor, rather than the council to account.

“It will be my job to work for the people of Barnet and Camden for better policing, better transport, and better housing.”

While the mayoral race is still in doubt, Labour is also celebrating substantial gains in country-wide local elections. While in west London Labour’s Onkar Singh Sahota took the Ealing and Hillingson GLA seat from Deputy Mayor Richard Barnes.

“We have given a bloody nose to the out of touch Lib Dems and Tory Government,” said Mr Dismore

“It shows that in outer London Labour is back. I think the Tory MPs that took seats in 2010 should be worried.”

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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