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Coronavirus: Bunhill by-election to replace Cllr Claudia Webbe MP delayed until May 2021

PUBLISHED: 18:54 21 April 2020 | UPDATED: 18:54 21 April 2020

Cllr Claudia Webbe outside the Bunhill Energy Centre on Central St. Picture: Polly Hancock

Cllr Claudia Webbe outside the Bunhill Energy Centre on Central St. Picture: Polly Hancock

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The by-election to replace Claudia Webbe as a Bunhill councillor has been delayed until May next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cllr Webbe was elected MP for Leicester East in December, and Islington Labour delayed the by-election to replace her to coincide with the mayoral and London Assembly polls which were due to take place next month.

But the government has now postponed all elections for a year due to the coronavirus crisis. Like all MPs, Cllr Webbe gets a salary of £79,468 – and she is still claiming her basic allowance of £10,519 in her capacity as an Islington councillor.

Islington Labour says Cllr Webbe is still a “true champion of local residents” – and council leader Richard Watts says she’s still doing case work.

The Gazette asked Islington’s former environment and transport chief if she would continue to claim her basic allowance until May next year, but she didn’t respond.

Former Lib Dem leader of Islington Council Terry Stacy said: “How can she serve two masters, the people of Leicester East and the people of Bunhill? It’s impossible.

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“She should have resigned immediately after she got elected to Parliament, she can’t be doing either job properly. If she’s locked down in London how can she be doing her in Leicester East? If he’s in Leicester East how can she be doing her job in Bunhill?

“It’s ridiculous, she’s making a mockery of the people of Bunhill; they need a full time councillor.”

The Gazette put these comments to Cllr Webbe but didn’t hear anything back.

An Islington Labour spokesperson said “Cllr Claudia Webbe continues to be a true champion for local residents in Bunhill as one of their local councillors, and receives a basic allowance to reflect this. She will continue to represent local people until it is appropriate to stand down.

“Following changes to national legislation, all UK elections have been halted, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

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