Local By Election candidates announced

12 Jun 2024

Merton Liberal Democrats have announced their candidates for two local council by-elections happening on the same day as the General Election, after Labour councillors stand down. 

This is after the national Labour party told councillors who were also candidates at the General Election in seats they were fighting to win to resign as councillors.

There are three Labour councillors standing at the General Election - Natasha Irons, Figges Marsh councillor, standing in Croydon East; Helena Dollimore, St Helier councillor, standing in Hastings and Rye; and Eleanor Stringer, Wandle councillor, standing in Wimbledon. 

However, only Cllr Irons and Cllr Dollimore have quit their council seats - yet more evidence that Labour HQ does not believe Labour can win in Wimbledon. 

As Labour were over 7,000 votes behind in 2019, the Lib Dem candidate Paul Kohler is the real challenger to the Conservative in Wimbledon at the General Election on 4th July.

We are delighted to announce that Asif Ashraf will be standing to be the first Liberal Democrat councillor for St Helier ward.

Asif works as a digital marketing specialist who has called Morden home for nearly two decades. As a devoted family man with two teenage children, he is deeply committed to serving and uplifting the community he cherishes. With a passion for business and a dedication to mentoring young talent, Asif is driven to make Morden a cleaner, safer, and more desirable place to live and work. His vision is to foster a community that not only cares for its residents but also instil a sense of pride in them.

In Mitcham’s Figges Marsh ward, Will Woodward will be standing as the Liberal Democrat candidate.

Will Woodward has lived in and around Mitcham and Tooting since 2013. 

He has worked in communication and policy roles in London for over 10 years, at start-ups and tech businesses, and within the charity and academic sectors. 

Will is focussed on improving Mitcham town centre and tackling the challenges it faces. He is about to open a brand new cafe in Mitcham so knows the issues local businesses face. He lives in Mitcham with his partner and daughter.

Voters across Merton feel let down and taken for granted by Labour - and the Liberal Democrats are the party people can trust to work hard for them. 

In most parts of London the Labour party had good results at the 2022 local elections. However, here in Merton Labour lost 4 seats to the Lib Dems including the then Labour leader of the Council. Furthermore, Cllr Jenifer Gould, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Mitcham and Morden was first elected in the 2019 Cannon Hill by-election, taking her seat from the Labour Party.

Cllr Anthony Fairclough, leader of the opposition on Merton Councils said:

“Asif and Will would make terrific councillors - they’d be local champions working hard for the people they represent.

Frankly current Labour Council bosses are out of ideas, and more interested in buying fancy furniture for Labour councillors’ offices - and trying to keep it a secret - than standing up for local residents.

I know Asif and Will would fight for:

  • a compassionate Council - helping those on the lowest incomes; 
  • a competent Council - getting the basics like street cleaning right; and 
  • an open Council - being honest with people about local decisions”

Discover more about what Merton Lib Dems stand for and our local policies in our local manifesto here

Notes to Editors

Merton Council comprises 57 councillors; the current make up is 30 Labour, 17 Liberal Democrat, 7 Conservatives and 2 Merton Park Residents’ Association and 1 independent.

The Liberal Democrats are the official opposition on Merton Council.

Labour has run Merton Council for 30 out of the last 34 years (the Conservatives were briefly the largest party 2006-10).

For more information see here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merton_London_Borough_Council 


Lib Dem by election candidates. Asif Ashraf for St Helier, Will Woodward for Figge's Marsh

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