by JOSH LOEB
ALL of the major political parties have announced their candidates for the upcoming Hyde Park ward by-election.
The high-profile poll, triggered by former Westminster Council leader Colin Barrow’s resignation as a councillor, is to take place on the same day as the London Mayoral election on May 3.
The Conservative candidate is Antonia Cox, a former leader writer for the Evening Standard, who has lived in the ward since 1997 with her family, volunteers for the Hyde Park Estate Association and ran for the Tories in the Islington South and Finsbury constituency at the last general election.
Asked why she swapped the cynical world of journalism for the world of politics, Ms Cox said: “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”
She added: “If you come from a journalistic environment you are used to thinking about how politics affects people in their everyday lives.”
The Labour candidate is Jack Gordon, chairman of the Hyde Park Safer Neighbourhood Panel, who has been active in politics since the 1960s.
He said: “I was born in the ward, which is probably more than can be said for any of the others.”
Mr Gordon said his involvement in the race would “give Tony and Cherie [the Blairs live just off Edgware Road] someone to vote for”.
The Liberal Democrat candidate is Martin Thompson, who works with GPs to improve patient care via “high-quality training based on best practice”.
Mr Thompson said: “If I am elected I pledge to be a strong and independent voice to champion this area and address residents’ concerns.”
The UK Independence Party’s candidate is the Earl Of Bradford, Richard Bridgeman, who owns Porters English Restaurant in Covent Garden and was a key figure in the campaign against the council’s now abandoned West End parking charge scheme.
Other candidates include Mark Cridge, who is standing for the Green Party.
He said issues he would be campaigning on included air quality and affordable homes.
Abdulla “Abby” Dharamsey, who lives in the adjoining ward, is standing as an independent candidate.
He said he wanted to reflect residents’ concerns about the number of “noisy” concerts in Hyde Park.