Political parties have announced their mayoral contenders for the local elections next May.
Incumbent Mayor Jules Pipe will be representing Labour. The long-time East End resident was Hackney’s first directly elected mayor and has been in office for over a decade.
In the elections, Pipe will face Linda Kelly from the Conservative party, Simon De Denny from the Liberal Democrats and Mustafa Korel from the Independents.
Kelly, who is now the Conservative ward councillor for Leabridge, defected from Pipe’s party in 2011.
Kelly said: “I have explained why I crossed over ages ago, I have no qualms about standing against the current Mayor, my trust and confidence in him was lost a long time ago.”
Kelly added: “I am running because I believe I can make a difference for the better, so my policies will be on local issues which affects all communities and making life better for all constituents such as the young, old and disabled and the issues which impact on their daily lives.”
The Liberal Democrat contender Simon De Deney is also confident about his candidacy. De Deney said that he wants to create a “visionary” democracy and “give people more power.” De Deney also said that “pushing forward affordable housing for the borough” was the key issue he will focus on.
Reuben Thompson, the parliamentary agent of Hackney Liberal Democrats is highly suportive of De Deney’s campaign: “I think he will be a great candidate because he has real local knowledge and understands the lay of the land. What’s more, Simon De Denny understands what is wrong with the borough and how to fix it.”
Thompson went on to argue that “Hackney has long been a one-party borough and people have now become desparate for something new.”
The Independent candidate, Mustafa Korel, who is running with Hackney First, a newly formed Independent party has been very critical of the current mayor.
Korel discussed his candidacy in a previous interview with EastLondonLines where he argued that there was a “monopoly of political power in the Labour-run administration.”
Korel also said: “The local community is the ultimate priority and I hope to represent those from the wider Hackney community and engage people at every level of democracy.”
Hackney Green Party has also confirmed that there will be a mayoral candidate representing the party, but they are still in the process of selecting.
The borough has been a traditionally safe bet for Labour; the Labour party currently have 49 Labour councillors, the Conservatives have five councillors and the Liberal Democrats have three.