Candidate's death sees delay to Mayfield ward election

Redbridge Town Hall. Picture: Ken Mears

The election of Mayfield ward councillors to Redbridge Council has been delayed - Credit: Ken Mears

Electing councillors will be delayed in one Redbridge ward after the death of a candidate.

Tributes have been paid to Iqbal Singh, who was due to stand for the Conservatives in Mayfield ward.

Redbridge Council confirmed the election of candidates in that ward will be postponed as a result.

The authority added that elections will take place in all other wards as planned on Thursday, May 5.

Redbridge Conservatives leader Linda Huggett described Goodmayes resident Iqbal as "a very kind man with true family values".

She told the Recorder: "His passing was very sad and totally unexpected. Our thoughts and prayers are with Iqbal’s family at this tragic time.

"His passing was a tragic loss not only to his family but also to his local community of which he was an integral part and where he was greatly admired and respected.

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"We were both honoured and delighted when he informed us that he would like to stand for the Conservatives in the Mayfield ward as our candidate.

"He worked extremely hard for our party and we all miss him very much."

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Linda Huggett paid tribute to "greatly admired and respected" Iqbal Singh - Credit: Ken Mears

Labour's Jas Athwal is also a candidate in Mayfield ward and paid tribute to Iqbal on social media.

He said: "I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Mr Iqbal Singh, a true pillar of the local community and a dear personal friend.

"My thoughts and prayers are with his family as they navigate this devastating loss."

Both Mr Athwal and Ms Huggett said their respective parties had stopped campaigning in Mayfield following Iqbal's death.

Ms Huggett added that the Conservatives would now have to select a third candidate for the ward.

The council has confirmed a new date for the Mayfield election of Thursday, May 26 and said electors in that ward would receive a notice confirming the new timetable.

Lesley Seary, council returning officer, said: "Our thoughts are with the candidate's family at this very sad time. We send our deepest condolences to all those impacted by this devastating loss."

The delay means there will be 21 wards where candidates will be elected on May 5.