Women’s Equality Party names candidate for Victoria ward by-election

Women’s Equality Party candidate Harini Iyengar. Photograph: MJ Widomska

The Women’s Equality Party (WEP) has announced its candidate for the forthcoming Victoria by-election – sparked by Labour councillor Alex Kuye’s decision to step down earlier this month because of illness.

Harini Iyengar, who stood in the mayoral election in May, will offer the ward’s voters their first opportunity to vote for a WEP candidate when polling takes place on 18 October.

Iyengar is a long-time resident of Hackney, raising three children as a lone parent and working full-time as an equality and human rights barrister.

She is also a founding member of WEP.

Iyengar said: “I’m proud to be standing for the Women’s Equality Party in Victoria, and I would be honoured to represent this area.

“Harassment is a top crime in Victoria ward and I want to tackle violence against women and girls by having local business, police, and others know how to respond immediately to a person reporting harassment whether in the supermarket or the street.

“This will make public spaces safer and encourage women to speak up.”

Iyengar, a second-generation immigrant whose parents came to Britain to work as doctors in the NHS, added: “The Women’s Equality Party is the only political party to support universal free childcare and I want it to start here in Victoria ward by prioritising the improvement of childcare services and extending free childcare hours from 15 to 30 hours for all two to four-year-olds.

“As a single parent, I understand the importance of community services and affordable childcare in our local areas.

“I want to ensure that council resources are invested wisely because we all rely on services – from parks and libraries to street cleaning and education.

“It’s time that the needs of lone parents, women and children are taken seriously by our council. Equality is better for everyone.”

The Victoria ward by-election was triggered when Labour councillor Alex Kuye vacated his seat earlier this month, with his party agreeing that “he would find it impossible to manage his role effectively as a councillor and cope with illness”.

Key dates for the 18 October by-election are:

Deadline to register to vote – midnight on 2 October 2018

New postal vote application deadline – 5pm on 3 October 2018

New proxy vote application deadline – 5pm on 10 October 2018

For more information, get in touch with Electoral Services at electoralservices@hackney.gov.uk or on 020 8356 3232



Real news stories don't come cheap.

The Hackney Citizen is the borough’s only independent newspaper, and is now in its tenth year.

Our hard-hitting journalism has uncovered fire safety failures in tower blocks, revealed plans to criminalise rough sleepers, exposed dodgy letting agents and reported on many other issues of public concern.

We’ve always been totally free in print and online, but advertising revenues are falling.

That’s why we’re asking for your help.

Hackney Citizen’s high quality journalism is produced by a small team on a shoestring budget, so we’re asking you to make a monthly contribution to fund our work, enabling the paper to survive and thrive.

Support the Hackney Citizen from as little as £2 per month.

Can you spare £4 a month or more? Get the paper delivered direct to your door each month! (UK only)