Politics / 15 March, 2012

‘Hackney Heroine’ Pauline Pearce to stand in council byelection

The Liberal Democrats have chosen as their candidate for Hackney Central ward a jazz singer who came to fame during last year’s riots

Pauline Pearce Clarence Road

'Hackney Heroine' Pauline Pearce talks to residents on Clarence Road. Photograph: Hackney Citizen

The ‘Heroine of Hackney’, Pauline Pearce, is to stand for the Liberal Democrats in the forthcoming council by-election on Thursday 3 May in Hackney Central ward.

The party announced Ms Pearce’s candidacy today (Thursday 15 March) during a walkabout in Clarence Road and the Pembury Estate.

She is standing on a platform of what she calls ‘unity in the community’.

The 46-year-old jazz singer came to prominence last summer when she was caught on a YouTube video delivering a courageous exhortation to local youths to desist from violence during the August disturbances.

Ms Pearce, also known as ‘Lady P’, is a grandmother who has lived in Hackney for seven years. She has long campaigned against gang and knife crime and started the organisation DS4L – Do Something for Life. She also hosts a chat show on the Conscious Radio community station.

Earlier in her life, Ms Pearce was involved in gangs and served three years in prison for drug smuggling.

“I’ve done a lot of things I’m not proud of’, she says. “Now I want to put something back into my community”. She explains her thinking: “You can’t be moaning about what’s wrong without doing something to put it right”.

Ms Pearce believes that local residents need support to move away from the sorts of violence that we witnessed during last summer’s disturbances.

She is adamantly opposed to the Coalition Government spending cuts and she believes policing must be reformed.

“Stop-and-search needs to be addressed – not stopped but reviewed. It should be used only on reasonable grounds, and people searched should be given a receipt”.

She is also against the use of water cannon and CS gas by the police as a response to rioting.

One of the main planks of Ms Pearce’s election campaign will be a call for the establishment of community centres that will not be linked to individual estates and that will also serve people of all ages.

Coming from a staunchly Labour family, her choice of party is a big change. “The Lib Dems seem to come across as the most genuine to me. I haven’t voted for the last three elections, but the Lib Dems seem to be showing the love.”

When asked if her anti-cuts stance was not out of line with the actions of her chosen party, she said the Liberal Democrats are trying from inside the Coalition Government to lessen the effect of spending reductions.

Simon De Deney, Chair of the Hackney Liberal Democrats, said: “We feel that Pauline will be a valuable addition to Hackney Council and we are proud to have her represent us. She is a real example of how a life can be turned around and how someone with a difficult past can give back to society”.

The Hackney Central byelection is being called as Labour councillor Alan Laing is standing down for work reasons. In the 2010 local elections, Cllr Alan Laing received 2,757 votes, the largest vote of any candidate in Hackney Central Ward.

Ben Hayhurst is standing as the Labour party byelection candidate.

Other parties are expected to announce their candidates in due course.


Barrister Ben Hayhurst to stand for Labour in council byelection


/ 15 March, 2012
  • Spirit Leveller

    It’s perfectly fitting that Ms Pearce, a convicted criminal whose entire reputation is built on ‘telling off’ rioters, should represent the Liberal Democrats in this by-election. She’s as big an opportunist as they are.

    To suggest that she’s “adamantly opposed to the Coalition Government spending cuts” while representing a political parting aiding and abetting one of the most recidivist, right wing governments in the history of our democracy is, frankly, laughable.

    To be perfectly honest, I’d rather see a Tory who believed in something win the by-election, than a ‘Libdem’ who’ll believe in anything to get herself in the newspaper.

    Incidentally, how long has Ms Pearce been a committed Libdem?

  • Spirit Leveller


  • According to Ms Pearce has not voted in years, in fact I believe she has never voted in her life and has never been a member of any political party.

    From what I can see this woman will gravitate to anyone, any cause and will sing and dance to any tune that will enable her a platform in her quest for fame.

    From another local website (ELL): “Pearce is also a member of the advisory board for the proposed free school in Hackney, while the Liberal Democrats voted to oppose free schools in 2010, but said she did not think this would cause conflict. “I am my own woman and I think I’m entitled to my own opinion,” she said”.

  • Andrew Boff

    Pauline is lovely. She is also human and she cuddles well.

  • Hey Boff, thanks for the quote 😉

  • Ed

    Well you’ve certainly levelled my spirits, SL. Where is the love, eh?

  • Andrew Boff

    SL is a sock puppet for Dave Spart.

  • Spirit Leveller

    @Andrew – I’m surprised you bother with Private Eye. Still, I suppose it does to keep up to date with the latest news on all those tax-dodgers who fund the Conservative Party…

    @Ed – Where is the love? It is a statement of fact that this woman has hitherto expressed no interest whatsoever in politics and much less so the Libdems. She’s an opportunist with a knack for self-publicity who has thrown herself behind every dubious venture (the proposed ‘free school’) and into the arms of every dubious politician (Boris Johnson) she’s encountered.

    The only reason the Boff’s backing her is because he thinks she’ll eat in to the Labour vote in Hackney Central, or perhaps even pull off a shock victory. The fact that this wouldn’t be in the interests of the people of Hackney evidently comes second to his McCarthyesque hatred of the Labour Party.

    As I’ve said previously, for Pauline Pearce to suggest that she’s “adamantly opposed to the Coalition Government spending cuts” while representing a political parting aiding and abetting one of the most recidivist, right wing governments in the history of our democracy is risible. Though, of course, no laughing matter to people in Hackney Central whose lives are being ruined by Andrew Boff’s and Pauline Pearce’s Tory/Libdem coalition.

  • Andrew Boff

    @Dave IRMC

  • Ed

    Pauline has a campaign site up now:

    Regarding the interests of the people of Hackney:
    1. Hackney council spend their constituents’ council tax on taking stalls to the Labour conference.
    2. Hackney council employees topped the national list of tax avoidance by paying through arrangements limited companies.
    3. At the same time the council failed to pay its lowest-paid employees the London living wage last year.
    4. Two of Hackney’s senior officers are paid more than David Cameron.

    Not a great record in the interests of Hackney people.

  • Hackney Artist


    How is being paid through a limited company avoiding paying tax?

  • Hackney Citizen

    @Hackney Artist

    This BBC article explains the issue:

    Council high earners use ‘tax avoidance scheme’ says MP

    – Ed.

  • The Great Smell Of Brute

    @Spirit Leveller: face facts – politicians of EVERY major party are involved in tax-avoidance schemes.
    “We’re all in this together”? Damn’right!

  • Andrew Boff

    @Hackney Artist
    How is being paid through a limited company avoiding paying tax?

  • Hackney Artist

    Ken livingstone employs a number of people. Why should 2 lots of income tax be paid from his earnings?
    He pays corporation tax and also tax whenever he removes money from the company on top of the income tax paid by his employees.

    I have read the 2 links provided and they still don’t provide an answer to my question. All they provide is half truths and lies about the situation.

  • Hackney Artist

    And we all know what Andrew Boff’s agenda is.

  • Andrew Boff

    @Hackney Artist – we do? What is it?


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