Stephen Cowan Seeking to Represent Kensington in Parliament

Hammersmith & Fulham Council leader wants to become an MP

Cllr Stephen Cowan

The leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council has thrown his hat in the ring to represent the Kensington constituency in the next election.

The long-time Conservative stronghold was won for Labour by Emma Dent Coad for the first time in 2017 but retaken by just 150 votes by Felicity Buchan in the 2019 election.

The seat had been represented by a number of senior figures in the Conservative Party over the years including Michael Portillo and Malcolm Rifkind but is now seen as a key marginal in London.

Cllr Cowan currently represents the Grove ward in Hammersmith which covers the area between Glenthorne Road and Goldhawk Road. There would not necessarily need to be a by-election should he gain the nomination but it is thought likely that he would need to stand down as the head of the Labour group in the borough.

He was first elected to the council in 1998 and became leader of the Labour group in 2006 when it was in opposition and was chosen as leader of the council in 2014 when Labour took control from the Tories. If selected he will be following a well-trodden path as the previous leader of a Labour administration in Hammersmith & Fulham, Andy Slaughter, also went on to represent a Westminster Constituency as the MP for Hammersmith.

He will join a large number of candidates who have put themselves forward and the Labour Party is expected to announce a long-list in the near future. As well as the former MP for the constituency, Emma Dent Coad, transport broadcaster Christian Wolmar is believed to be putting himself forward.

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October 14, 2022