Charville voters stick with Labour
Mary O’Connor falls short a second time
LABOUR have held Charville ward in a snap by-election caused by the resignation of one of the party’s members.
In a vote by an ultra-low turnout by the electorate – just 25.7 per cent – former councillor John Oswell was elected by a mere 21 votes on Thursday last week to serve in the mid-borough ward, which encompasses parts of Hillingdon and Hayes End.
He succeeds David Horne, who stepped down because of ill health.
For the Conservative former Mayor of Hillingdon, Mary O’Connor, it was a second defeat within months. She was unseated in the same three-seat ward in local elections in May.
Mr Oswell, who represented Pinkwell ward for a number of years, said: “I’m really pleased with what has happened tonight because it showed that the people of Charville wanted to keep the seat Labour.”
He thanked the party team for its hard work during the campaign, and paid tribute to the borough’s only Labour MP.
“I have had help from John McDonnell MP, and I cannot thank him enough because he has been very, very helpful,” said Mr Oswell.
“Also my wife has to have a mention because of what she has put up with over the last four weeks.
“I have got to say I thought it might be tight, and it was, but I was hopeful, always hopeful.”
Ms O’Connor was disappointed but philosophical.
“It was close enough but no comeback, and that’s life, but I suppose the one thing was that the UKIP vote fell away,” she said.
“It was a very low turnout, but what would you expect for a by-election at the back end of November, with a general election round the corner and the local elections just over?”
UKIP Hillingdon chairman Cliff Dixon, who was also a candidate in the election, said he was happy enough.
“Considering what was ranged against us, 468 [votes] is pretty creditable.
“It was a solid result; we’re established. We are the third party by quite a considerable way, as can be seen from the votes, and we move on from here.”
■ NEW WARD: John Oswell was elected by a majority of 21 votes