General election 2024: Meet the eight candidates battling it out in Hackney North and Stoke Newington

The candidates standing in the general election on 4 July have been announced.

In Hackney North and Stoke Newington, there are eight candidates fighting for your vote.

Below is more information about the key pledges of the parties they represent, as well as some history of their time in politics.

Candidates appear in alphabetical order.

Diane Abbott – Labour Party

Diane Abbott has been the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington since 1987. She is Britain’s longest standing Black female MP.

Following her well documented suspension by Labour, Abbott is back in the fold and fighting to retain her seat as the party’s candidate.

She served as Shadow Home Secretary under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn from 2016 to 2020 and is an adviser to the Privy Council.

The Labour Party is yet to release its manifesto, but it is expected to be unveiled later this week.

According to a website that tracks MP’s voting records, Abbott “followed instructions from her party and voted the same way as Labour MPs” on the “vast majority of issues”.

Some of the Labour policies that Abbott has voted against are the Iraq War, ID cards, and the renewal of Britian’s nuclear deterrents.

Ryan Ahmad – Independent

Ahmad is a member of the local Labour party but is standing as an independent candidate.

On his website, it states: “Constituents, I promise you socialism.”

Another line reads:  “I worship at the altar of Blair/Brown but thought Jeremy [Corbyn] was inspirational.”

He lists his focus areas as the economy, mental health, homelessness, poverty, cyber ethics, the ​environment, and equality.

According to Ahmad, he used to be an “aide-de-camp” to Tony Blair.

In this role, he says he “had loads of influence contributing to defence policy”, “worked with 200 of the world’s most famous, powerful and wealthy people”, and “worked with all of the frontier technologies that can improve public services like the NHS”.

Ahmad is now a bartender and volunteers with a charity that reduces loneliness and isolation among older people.

Deborah Cairns – Reform UK

Cairns previously stood for UKIP in the 2015 general election in Enfield North and is now standing as a Reform UK candidate.

Reform’s manifesto has not yet been released, but Nigel Farage, the leader of the party, has confirmed it will be published on 17 June.

Reform UK has called the upcoming election the “immigration election”, and the party has pledged to introduce a migrant tax that will force employers to pay an increased National Insurance rate of 20 per cent for every foreign employee.

The party has already discussed vastly reducing legal migration by leaving the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and introducing a “one in, one out” migration quota.

Kombat Diva – Independent

Kombat Diva is another independent candidate, but the Citizen has been unable to find a manifesto or further information on them.

Diva is one of only two candidates standing in Hackney North and Stoke Newington whose address is in the constituency.

Antoinette Fernandez – Green Party

Readers may recognise Fernandez from her recent De Beauvoir ward by-election campaign, where she narrowly lost out on being elected a councillor.

Fernandez was vocal about improving housing and combating the effects of gentrification on longstanding Hackney communities.

The Green Party manifesto was released this morning, with headlines including a plan to boost health and social care spending by £50 billion a year.

This will be funded by an eight per cent raise on National Insurance for those earning over £50,270, and a one per cent wealth tax on assets over £10 million that stretches to two per cent on assets worth over £1 billion.

The Greens have also said they would invest £40 billion a year in the shift to the green economy by introducing a tax on any activities that involve the emission of carbon dioxide.

Rebecca Jones – Liberal Democrats

At only 20 years old, Jones was elected as the Young Liberals executive policy officer in 2022 and non-portfolio officer in 2023.

Readers may remember her from her campaign for north-east London’s City Hall seat in May, during which she spoke of better representation of young people, women and the LGBTQ+ community in politics.

Tackling sewage is one of the party’s primary manifesto pledges. The Liberal Democrats want to create a public water company and introduce legally binding targets to prevent sewage being dumped into bathing waters and highly sensitive nature sites.

The party also wants to repair the UK’s “broken relationship” with Europe and introduce a £9.4 billion package for the NHS and social care in England, paid for by raising taxes for banks and closing financial loopholes used by the super-rich.

Knigel Knapp – The Official Monster Raving Loony Party

Knapp, who also goes by “Knight of the unknown”, is one of five deputy leaders of the Monster Raving Loony Party (MRLP).

Knapp is not new to politics. In the 2005 and the 2010 general elections, he stood in Hackney North and Stoke Newington, and in the 2017 general election he stood in Islington North.

Alongside Diva, he is the only other candidate whose address is in the constituency.

Knapp is the MRLP’s shadow minister for big fibs and blatant lies, so it is safe to assume he is a key supporter of the MRLP’s policy to introduce the “Board of Bribery”. With a tagline of “sleaze for the many, not just the few”, the MRLP says it “will combat corruption in public life by taking part in it openly”.

The party has also pledged that “any possible schemes thought up by government, council, NHS et cetera, such as closure of hospitals, workplace parking levy et cetera, will be preceded with a public consultation which we will then ignore”.

Knapp will soon be publishing his own “manicfesto”.

On his website, he promises: “I shall be walking the streets of Stoke Newington with a bunch of MRLP-supporting mates at the weekends, hoping to talk to anyone who wants to talk to us about anything that concerns them”.

David Benzion Landau – Conservative Party

Landau is a trustee for the Menorah High School for Girls in Dollis Hill, Barnet, and is active in promoting and supporting London’s Charedi Schools.

In his first major policy announcement of the election campaign, incumbent Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak vowed to bring back national service for school leavers. This would open military placements to 30,000 youngsters with residential stays at army barracks or other military facilities.

Lower taxation is a Conservative manifesto headline, with the party pledging to abolish National Insurance payments for almost all self-employed people.

Another leading policy is a vow to continue increasing NHS spending above inflation in each year of the next parliament.

The Tories have also promised to deliver 92,000 more nurses and 28,000 more doctors in that time, compared to 2023 levels.