Election delayed in Redbridge ward after death of candidate

The sudden death of a candidate in Redbridge’s local elections is likely to cause a three-week delay to the final results for the borough.

Iqbal Singh, a Conservative party member who hoped to be elected in Mayfield ward, died unexpectedly earlier this month.

His death means candidates standing for election in this ward, including current council leader Jas Athwal, must wait three weeks longer than in the rest of the borough.

The polls in Mayfield will not take place until Thursday 26th May, three weeks after residents in the rest of the borough vote on 5th May.

An extraordinary council meeting has been scheduled for Thursday next week to approve the new timetable, which includes delaying the first post-election council meetings scheduled for May.

Commenting on Mr Iqbal’s death, Conservative leader Linda Hugget said her “thoughts and prayers” are with his family.

She added: “His passing was a tragic loss not only to his family but also to his local community, of which he was an integral part and where he was greatly admired and respected.

“He was a very kind man with true family values. Having been a Labour supporter for many years, we were both honoured and delighted when he informed us that he would like to stand for the Conservatives.

“He worked extremely hard for our party and we all miss him very much.”

The Conservative leader said her party had suspended all canvassing activities in the Mayfield ward as a sign of respect and will soon select a new candidate to stand alongside Maria Begum and Carol Corbin.

According to Redbridge Council, candidates who already stand validly nominated for Mayfield Ward do not have to be re-nominated for the postponed poll, and they may not withdraw.

Additional candidates may be nominated, but these may not include those already nominated in another Redbridge ward on May 5.

Nominations for additional candidates to stand in Mayfield Ward may be submitted on any working day between Thursday April 21 – 28, between 9am and 4pm and no later than 4pm on Thursday April 28.

The registration deadline for any new electors to vote in the postponed Mayfield poll will be Tuesday, May 10, and the deadline for postal vote applications will be 5pm on Wednesday, May 11.

For any elector who has a long-term postal or proxy vote for all elections, this will cover the postponed poll.

However, any elector who had applied for a temporary absent vote just for Thursday, May 5 will need to re-apply for Thursday, May 26 if they require an absent vote on that date.

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Josh Mellor

Local Democracy Reporter