After no sleep and two days worth of excited phone calls, I celebrated my election win with friends and colleagues from the Waltham Forest Labour party. Below I express thanks to some of my favourite people, without whom I would not have become a councillor on Thursday night.
Laura Bruni (pictured above left) ran my “committee room” on election day. The committee room is the venue where all data regarding the election is fed back for analysis and dissection. When you go to the polling station to vote you will often find people asking you for your voter number on the way out. On Thursday, these numbers were fed back to Laura, who checked them off among the people who had told me they were voting Labour. If it looked like very few of Labour’s “promises” (people who had said they would vote Labour) had gone out to vote, it was the job of the helpers to go to their houses to remind them – even drive them! – to the polling station. Laura ran a mean operation and sent our helpers to the right places all day long.
Dave Townley (pictured above right) is the secretary of the Leyton ward Labour party. He has kept the branch going for ten years, despite us having no councillors in Leyton to report back on developments in the council chamber or to lead campaign work. Dave has never given up hope that Labour would finally win back in a seat in Leyton. My victory is for him.
A huge congratulations must go to new William Morris ward Councillor Geraldine Reardon (pictured above left). She has worked so hard for many years now and narrowly missed out on becoming a councillor there twice before Thursday night. Geraldine will be fantastic and I am delighted that she’s been elected. Mike Smith (pictured with Geraldine) was the rock of our campaign. Years of experience as agent to Walthamstow MP, Neil Gerrard, kept us all on the straight and narrow.
Thanks also to Leytonstone Community Council Chair Jane Brueseke (above left), Annette Gaskin (above centre), and former Lea Bridge ward Councillor and champion campaigner Stella Creasy (above right), for adding their sterling female glamour and support.
Our agent James Fitzpatrick (above left) finally cracks a smile after months of me driving him mad 😉 Matthew Redgrave, the Vice Chair of Labour’s Local Government Committee Campaign (above centre), and Ross Priestly, agent to Wood St ward (above right), also finally get their chance to relax.
Thank you to all of you and the others – too many to mention here – who helped me get elected.
I will be inviting you all to a local celebration to thank you properly.