Hoxton East and Shoreditch by-election: Meet the four candidates competing for council seat

The Hoxton seat has been vacated by Cllr Steve Race

Residents of Hoxton East and Shoreditch will be voting for a new councillor on 2 May, alongside the London mayoral and City Hall elections.

The seat has been vacated by Labour councillor Steve Race, who is standing for parliament in Exeter at the next general election.

Below are the hopefuls competing to represent the ward. Candidates are listed in the order they will appear on the ballot.

Samuel Iheanyi Adele – Conservative Party

The Citizen reached out to Hackney Conservatives, but they did not respond to requests for an interview and more information about their candidate.

Liam Davis – Green Party

Green Party candidate Liam Davis. Photograph: courtesy Liam Davis

If elected, Liam Davis, 26, would be Hackney council’s youngest councillor.

“It’s not necessarily a core reason I’m running,” he explained, “but I do think there is something to be said for having a council of diversity in age; my experience as young person today will not be the same as many or most of the councillors already sitting.”

Davis works in a technology centre and has lived all around Hackney, “thanks to the volatile and increasingly difficult private rental market”.

“That said, I’ve always been able to live close to the Kingsland Road and so have spent a significant amount of time around Hoxton and Shoreditch, whether that be for work or leisure.”

“Like many other areas, it’s nighttime economy has been suffering hugely and I do not believe the existing Labour councillors or council in its entirety has the ideas, or the will, to sit down with residents, businesses, organisations and groups to strategise progressively and sustainably”, he continued.

If elected to council, Davis said he would “champion sustainable housing” and “be a big advocate for more stringent actions against unsuitable housing [and] the development of significantly more social housing units, over luxury developments”.

Davis also said he would “be a vocal advocate for the homeless, disabled, and other residents and businesses affected by the ongoing cost of living crisis, fighting for more support and the resources needed”, as well as “collaborat[e] with local businesses, community groups, and authorities in Shoreditch… to be a stronger and more dedicated voice on licensing issues, road safety, and crime, particularly in critical nightlife areas”.

“I am dedicated to creating and supporting initiatives that provide better opportunities for young people, aiming to reduce youth violence,” and “I am committed to advocating for more community green spaces and improving the accessibility and security of existing parks in the south of Hackney,” he continued.

Becket John McGrath – Liberal Democrats

Becket McGrath is standing for the Liberal Democrats. Photograph: courtesy Becket McGrath

McGrath has lived in Hackney with his family for nearly 18 years. McGrath works as a solicitor and specialises in EU and UK law.

He told the Citizen: “I joined the Lib Dems in 2016, right after the referendum. I was attracted to them as the most pro-European party, which they continue to be. I am a committed European and was an active member of the Remain campaign.”

“I am standing for the Lib Dems in Hackney as I love the borough and would like to provide a voice for liberal principles on the council,” he said”. “It is important that Hackney voters who want to vote for our distinctive vision are able to do so.”

He added: “As well as standing up for the residents of Hoxton East & Shoreditch, ultimately this is about ensuring a liberal – with both a small and big ‘l’ – voice on the council and thus some degree of effective independent scrutiny of council decisions.

“Without some form of opposition on the council, it’s not really providing a proper democratic check.”

Faruk Tinaz – Labour Party

Labour hopeful Faruk Tinaz. Photograph: courtesy Hackney Labour

A press release sent to the Citizen explained that Tinaz, 33, was grew up in Hoxton in a family working in market trading and the textile industry. He went to primary school in the ward and is now married with two daughters and works as a lawyer.

“Living in Hackney throughout his life, Faruk has a strong connection to the local community and wants to make sure that Hackney remains a welcoming home to all,” a representative from the Hackney Labour party said.

The press release says Tinaz “is committed to working with police and local organisations to improve community safety, and collaborating with residents and businesses to ensure the night-time economy works for everyone.”

Tinaz is quoted as saying, ‘I am standing as a local councillor in Hoxton East to be an advocate for the needs of my community, whoever they are.’

“With hundreds of new homes for local people, clean streets, award-winning parks and leadership on fair pay, in Hackney we’ve shown what’s possible with Labour in power.

“But after 14 years of failed Tory Government, the country is crying out for change. I’d urge people in Hackney and right across the country to send a message to the Government on 2nd May.

“Only Labour will break down barriers to opportunity and get Britain building again.”