New Conservative group leader chosen

Conservative councillors pick Alessandro Georgiou to lead the group going forward, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

Cllr Georgiou has represented Cockfosters since 2018
Alessandro Georgiou is the new leader of the Conservative group at Enfield Civic Centre

Enfield’s Conservative group has chosen a new leader after a strong showing in the local election earlier this month.

Alessandro Georgiou won the backing of colleagues during the group’s annual general meeting (AGM) on Monday, bringing to an end Joanne Laban’s five-year spell as opposition leader.

Michael Rye, the former council leader prior to 2010, has also been named as the new Tory deputy leader, while Chris Dey takes on the role of Conservative group whip at Enfield Civic Centre.

Cllr Georgiou, who was first elected in 2014 and represents Cockfosters ward, said with its new team in place the Tories were “ready to hold this Labour council to account”.

Enfield’s Conservative group bucked the London-wide trend for the Tories by winning eight seats in the local election on 5th May, giving them their best result since 2010. It came as the traditional Conservative strongholds of Barnet, Westminster and Wandsworth fell to Labour.

Cllr Georgiou said: “I would like to thank Cllr Laban for her five years as leader of the Conservative group. Joanne is a dedicated councillor and has served not only her own residents well, but also all residents that have worked with her over the last twelve years. I know Joanne will continue to be a major asset to the Conservative group and Enfield Council as a whole.

“Having gained eight seats at the local election on 5th May, we are a larger Conservative group ready to hold this Labour council to account. We have a hard-working and talented group of councillors, and we stand firm on the commitments we put forward at the election to protect our Green Belt, stop overdevelopment within our communities, remove the LTNs [low-traffic neighbourhoods] and bring back weekly bin collections.”

The new Tory group leader highlighted that the local election result saw Enfield jointly – along with Harrow – claim the largest number of Conservative seat gains across the country in the recent local elections. He added that this “should send a very clear message to Enfield’s Labour council that we mean business”.

Conservative colleagues took to social media to congratulate Cllr Georgiou. Stephanos Ioannou, who represents Southgate, said: “Very happy for my excellent colleague Cllr Georgiou who is now group leader for the Conservatives on Enfield Council. Let’s make these years count!”

Chris Joannides, another Southgate councillor, posted: “Congratulations to my friends Chris Dey and Cllr Georgiou as Enfield Conservative group whip and opposition group leader. Chris and Alex have the dexterity to handle their new roles and I wish them good luck.”

The official council appointments will be confirmed during the authority’s AGM on Wednesday, 25th May.

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