Labour win Hackney mayor by-election but shed 17,500 votes after scandal

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Caroline Woodley has been elected as the new mayor of Hackney council in a by-election following a scandal, with the Labour candidate winning 18,474 votes.

The by-election saw her nearest challenger Zoe Garbett of the Greens win 9,075 votes, and Simche Steinberger of the Conservatives manage only 5,039 votes.

Woodley secured 49.5% of votes cast, down from the former mayor’s 59% vote share in 2022. While turnout was down on the 2022 mayoral contest, the Greens shed only around 1,000 votes whereas Labour shed more than 18,500 versus that election.

The by-election was triggered by the resignation of former mayor Philip Glanville, which followed a photo surfacing of him alongside former councillor Tom Dewey, on the same day he reportedly heard the latter was arrested. Dewey has since been convicted of possession of indecent images of children.

It was reported this week that Hackney council has commissioned a review to examine the decisions it made after the National Crime Agency notified it about its arrest of Dewey.

The council’s interim chief executive Dawn Carter McDonald said the focus of the investigation “will be to ensure that the council met its safeguarding obligations and to examine the council’s processes and guidance and make recommendations for any improvements”.

Hackney council announced that the turnout for the by-election was 20.69% of the 180,205 electorate, with 37,289 votes cast of which 15,731 were postal.

Woodley is a councillor on Hackney council, representing Cazenove ward and currently serving as cabinet member for families, parks and leisure.

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