Labour secure election sweep in Enfield – while council leader becomes Barking MP

No surprises across borough’s three parliamentary constituencies as Labour takes power in Westminster for first time since 2010, reports James Cracknell

Bambos Charalambous MP on stage with his campaign team
Bambos Charalambous MP on stage with his campaign team

Voters in Enfield have re-elected three Labour MPs to represent the borough in parliament as the party claims a historic majority in the House of Commons.

Despite boundary changes shaking up Enfield’s political map for this election, with two newly-created and enlarged constituencies, the three winners are all familiar – Feryal Clark in Enfield North, Bambos Charalambous in Southgate and Wood Green, and Kate Osamor in Edmonton and Winchmore Hill.

This is now the third general election in a row that Labour has won a clean sweep in Enfield.

Meanwhile, in Barking, Enfield Council leader Nesil Caliskan has become an MP, with her future at Enfield Civic Centre now uncertain. It seems likely she will stand down, but this has not yet been confirmed.

Asked what difference a Labour government could now make in Enfield North, Clark said: “The cost-of-living crisis is really affecting people, the lack of housing and Section 21 evictions, the difficulty in getting GP appointments, NHS waiting lists […] Labour, with our commitments to give Britain its future back, will tackle these issues. We will put more police officers on the streets, create more hospital appointments to clear the backlog, and put more teachers in our schools.

“The scale of the challenge is huge but we are ready for it. We are ready to start delivering for the people of Britain and Enfield North – I know many of my residents will benefit massively from the commitments we’ve made.”

Asked what Labour will do for Southgate and Wood Green, Charalambous said: “There will be more support, particularly now there is a Labour government, with a Labour council and Labour MPs working in tandem. It will help solve problems we have around housing and poverty.”

With the future of the Green Belt being one of the key local issues in their constituencies, the Dispatch asked both Charalambous and Clark for their views on a rumoured policy shift by the new Labour government to build homes on lower-quality Green Belt land, which Starmer has described as “grey belt”.

Clark said it would be “brownfield first, grey belt second” and pointed out there were car parks and industrial areas within the Green Belt that could be built on, but that “good quality” Green Belt would continue to be protected. Charalambous made a similar point and said: “We have to look at it on a case-by-case basis, but my preference is not to build in the Green Belt. Sometimes there is ‘grey belt’ and we need to look at that but I have opposed building on the Green Belt and I think there are other alternatives.”

Feryal Clark delivering her victory speech at Lee Valley Athletics Centre
Feryal Clark MP delivering her victory speech at Lee Valley Athletics Centre

Clark and Charalambous, who have previously served as shadow ministers, also both told the Dispatch they were ready to serve in government should they get the call from Prime Minister Keir Starmer. “I’m looking forward to hearing from Number 10,” said Clark with a smile. “I’ve really enjoyed my shadow brief in crime prevention and I am looking forward to having the opportunity […] I would be delighted.”

Charalambous spent the best part of the last year as an independent MP after being suspended by Labour but was finally readmitted in April after the complaint against him was not upheld. Asked if a government job could now be in his future, he said: “I have no expectations whatsoever but of course if the call comes I would be happy to serve.”

Kate Osamor was also suspended by Labour at the start of this year after mentioning Gaza in a newsletter marking Holocaust Memorial Day, something for which she later apologised and, subsequently, was readmitted to the party.

The Dispatch attempted to speak to Osamor at Lee Valley Athletics Centre after the result for Edmonton and Winchmore Hill was declared, but she declined.

The Conservatives finished second in each of the three Enfield constituencies and two of the party’s candidates told the Dispatch that it was important for the Tories to “reflect” on the national election results before deciding on its future direction.

Chris Dey, the defeated Conservative candidate for Enfield North and local councillor, said: “I think we need to take our time to reflect on it and do some focus groups […] We need to understand what went wrong.”

The Conservative candidate for Southgate and Wood Green, Eric Sukumaran, had similar thoughts. He said: “We have a track record as a party of renewal and rebuilding […] I would caution the party not to jump to conclusions and not to have one faction blaming another faction.”

The Green Party finished a creditable third place in both Edmonton and Winchmore Hill and Southgate and Wood Green, while in Enfield North it was Reform UK that finished behind the Tories.

The Green candidate for Edmonton and Winchmore Hill, Luke Balnave, expressed his frustration at climate change not being a more prominent issue during the election campaign. He said: “When we got a chance we raised it [but] the focus on migration means issues like climate change are put down the pecking order, even though it is far more pressing.”

Stephen Bird was the Reform UK candidate who claimed third place in Enfield North. As the right-wing party looked set to win several seats in parliament for the first time, he told the Dispatch: “We will always be a voice for the millions of people who think like us. We won’t be able to change laws, but all those people will have a voice.”

The Liberal Democrats, while enjoying a resurgence nationally, failed to make much impact in Enfield as they finished fourth, fifth and fifth. The party’s Southgate and Wood Green candidate, Lauren Fulbright, said leader Ed Davey had “shown the lighter side to the leadership” with his eye-catching stunts during the campaign, admitting it was “difficult to get attention when you are the third party.”

There were also some independent candidates standing as part of a left-wing coalition called Enfield Community Action Group. The group’s organiser, Khalid Sadur, claimed sixth place in Edmonton and Winchmore Hill. He told the Dispatch: “A lot of people feel homeless because of the promises Keir Starmer has broken and by not following what we think are true Labour values. So we wanted to be give people a voice.”

Enfield North result

  1. Feryal Clark, Labour Party: 21,368 (49.1%)
  2. Chris Dey, Conservative Party: 8,632 (19.8%)
  3. Stephen Bird, Reform UK: 5,146 (11.8%)
  4. Isobel Whittaker, Green Party: 3,713 (8.5%)
  5. Guy Russo, Liberal Democrats: 2,517 (5.8%)
  6. Ertan Karpazli, independent: 1,448 (3.3%)
  7. Aishat Anifowoshe, Workers Party: 668 (1.5%)

Turnout: 55.4%

Edmonton and Winchmore Hill result

  1. Kate Osamor, Labour Party: 20,520 (50%)
  2. Zoe Huggins, Conservative Party: 7,888 (19.2%)
  3. Luke Balnave, Green Party: 3,681 (9%)
  4. Neville Watson, Reform UK: 3,501 (8.5%)
  5. Tim Martin, Liberal Democrats: 2,721 (6.6%)
  6. Khalid Sadur, independent: 1,700 (4.1%)
  7. Denise Headley, Workers Party: 668 (1.6%)
  8. Yemi Awoloa, Christian Peoples Alliance: 366 (0.9%)

Turnout: 54.4%

Southgate and Wood Green result

  1. Bambos Charalambous, Labour Party: 23,337 (51.1%)
  2. Eric Sukumaran, Conservative Party: 8,037 (17.6%)
  3. Charith Gunawardena, Green Party: 5,607 (12.3%)
  4. Lauren Fulbright, Liberal Democrats: 3,925 (8.6%)
  5. Lucy O’Sullivan, Reform UK: 3,147 (6.9%)
  6. Geoff Moseley, Workers Party: 833 (1.8%)
  7. Karl Vidal, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition: 785 (1.7%)

Turnout: 59%

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