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 email@example.com or on 020 8356 3232