Surprise Camden Labour victor Cohen poised to stand down

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Surprise Camden Labour victor Cohen poised to stand down

Jewish News understands Adrian Cohen, who won the Hampstead Town seat in the May 5 local elections for Labour, is set to announce he is stepping down due to new work commitments

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Adrian Cohen
Adrian Cohen

London Jewish Forum founder Adrian Cohen is poised to stand down as the newly elected Labour councillor for Hampstead Town only weeks after the shock local election result.

Jewish News understands that Cohen has been left with little option but to step back from local politics as a result of a new job he is starting.

In a letter being sent to local residents Cohen will say “personal circumstances now mean I cannot take up the seat as Hampstead Town councillor.

“I am deeply sorry that I cannot do justice to your support, but Hampstead Town deserves a Labour representative who can work every single day for our community.

“I can’t do that and it would be wrong for me to serve as your councillor when I know I cannot give you the attention and dedication the job needs.”

Plans are already being put in place for a by-election in the Camden Council ward, which Cohen won for Labour for the first time ever.

Cohen, a banking and finance expert, made national newspaper headlines after it emerged he needed to woken from his sleep to attend the election count in the early hours of May 6, where he was told he was the surprise winner.

Because of Labour’s poor record in the Hampstead Town seat Cohen, who represents Highgate Synagogue on the Board of Deputies and is a senior figure in the Jewish Leadership Council, believed he had no realistic chance of being elected.

The by-election will once again be a test for the Conservatives, who were left with only three councillors, with the loss of Hampstead seen as a sign of the party’s collapse.

The Camden New Journal noted the local Tories were also back putting their material through doors ahead of what promises to be one of the closer to call by-elections in Camden in recent years. Thursday July 7 is the likely date for the poll.

Cohen has stated he will back a Labour candidate at the poll.

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