Nesil Caliskan set to stand down as Enfield Council leader

The Labour councillor became the MP for Barking following last week’s general election, reports James Cracknell and Ruby Gregory, Local Democracy Reporter

Nesil Caliskan at the 2022 local election count, when the Labour group lost eight seats to the Tories
Nesil Caliskan at the 2022 local election count (credit Enfield Dispatch)

Nesil Caliskan has confirmed she will stand down as leader of Enfield Council after she won election to the House of Commons at last week’s general election.

Cllr Caliskan, who has represented Jubilee ward since 2015 and has led the council since May 2018, is now a member of parliament for Barking in East London. She was parachuted into the seat just a few days before the close of nominations at the start of June.

The general election saw the Labour Party win a landslide victory, with Keir Starmer becoming the new prime minister.

Cllr Caliskan said: “It has been an honour to lead Enfield Council for the last six years, and the privilege of my life to be elected as Barking’s member of parliament.

“Now I have taken on this new role, I will be looking to stand down as leader of Enfield as soon as Enfield Labour group establishes its process to elect my successor.

“I look forward supporting whoever next leads Enfield Council and I know, under Labour leadership and working with a new Labour government, the council will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Cllr Caliskan, a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) – Labour’s ruling body – was endorsed by the NEC to fill the sudden candidate vacancy in Barking when a series of allegations made against Barking and Dagenham Council leader Darren Rodwell saw him deselected in the week prior to the nominations deadline.

Barking is one of the safest Labour seats in the country, having returned Labour MPs at every election since its creation in 1945. It was held for 30 years by Dame Margaret Hodge, who decided to stand down ahead of the 2024 election.

Cllr Caliskan secured 16,227 votes (44.5%), ahead of Reform UK’s Clive Peacock on 5,173 votes (14.2%).

During her victory speech in the early hours of Friday morning, Cllr Caliskan said: “It is time for change in our country and I am so proud to be elected as member of parliament for Barking. I am humbled of course to follow in the footsteps of Margaret Hodge who has served Barking outstandingly for three decades.

“I pledge to the people of Barking that I will always be on your side.”

Cllr Caliskan was unexpectedly chosen to became leader of Enfield Council in May 2018, shortly after that year’s local election, when previous leader Doug Taylor had led the Labour group to its best-ever result.

At the following Enfield local election in May 2022, under Cllr Caliskan’s leadership, Labour lost eight seats to the opposition Conservatives despite the Tories losing 485 councillors nationwide amid the ongoing Partygate scandal.

Among the favourites to replace her as council leader are current deputy leader Ergin Erbil, cabinet member Susan Erbil, and finance chief Tim Leaver, who failed in his own bid to become an MP in Norfolk last week.

No news is bad news 

Independent news outlets like ours – reporting for the community without rich backers – are under threat of closure, turning British towns into news deserts. 

The audiences they serve know less, understand less, and can do less. 

If our coverage has helped you understand our community a little bit better, please consider supporting us with a monthly, yearly or one-off donation. 

Choose the news. Don’t lose the news.

Monthly direct debit 

Annual direct debit

£5 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else, £10 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else and a print copy posted to them each month. £50 annual supporters get a digital copy of each month's paper before anyone else.  

Donate now with Pay Pal

More information on supporting us monthly or yearly 

More Information about donations