Green mayoral candidate vows to still run for City Hall even if she wins Hackney race

Zoë Garbett is standing for mayor of Hackney this month while also still campaigning for the top job at City Hall, reports Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

Zoë Garbett (credit Green Party via
Zoë Garbett (credit Green Party via

The Green Party’s London mayoral candidate has said she is still “completely committed” to her campaign for City Hall, despite also running next week to become mayor of Hackney.

Zoë Garbett, the Greens’ candidate in both elections, admitted she could not effectively perform the roles of Hackney mayor and London mayor at the same time – but said she could still be the candidate in both races.

Asked whether she would remain as her party’s London candidate if she is elected as mayor of Hackney, she said the question was “hypothetical” and that she will “see what happens”.

She said: “I don’t think you could do both jobs, but I think you could run in both elections. Well – you could be the mayor of Hackney while running to be the mayor of London.”

The by-election for the Hackney mayoralty is being held on Thursday, 9th November, while the London mayoral election is taking place on 2nd May next year.

Garbett previously ran as Green candidate for the Hackney mayoralty in 2022, coming second with 17% of first preference votes. Labour’s Philip Glanville won re-election with 59.1% of the vote.

Glanville was forced to step down in September this year however, after it emerged that he had misled the council about when he’d stopped socialising with former Labour councillor Tom Dewey, who had been arrested for possessing indecent images of children.

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Garbett, who is currently a councillor in Dalston, said of her Hackney campaign: “There’s a really strong feeling that people want to vote Green this time.

“They’ve seen the work that I’ve done on the council, they hear the policies that we’re putting out, they’re really keen for more engagement and local scrutiny of the council.

“That has really resonated with people on the doorstep. People are feeling that they’re not included in decisions about their lives.”

She added: “I think Hackney is a microcosm of London. The issues that we’ve been talking about – the cost of living crisis, the housing crisis, the local economy – it’s all relevant for what we’re thinking about at a London level too.”

Asked about her chances of winning the Hackney mayoralty, Garbett said: “The areas where we’re talking to residents in, there’s a strong desire to vote Green. We think there’ll be an increase in our vote share.

“But it comes at a really difficult time in terms of it being a by-election. We think that turnout will probably be quite low, so we just need to see what happens next week.”

Pressed on whether she may stand down as London candidate if elected as Hackney’s mayor, she said: “I’m currently completely committed to my responsibilities as the Green candidate for London. We’ll see what happens.”

Previous London mayors have held other political jobs while serving in City Hall.

Ken Livingstone remained as MP for Brent East for a full year after being elected as mayor in 2000, and Boris Johnson was MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip during his last year as mayor. Sadiq Khan stood down as MP for Tooting on the same day that he was elected as mayor in 2016.

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