Congratulations to Antonia Cox who was elected to Westminster City Council last week with a huge majority. The Earl of Bradford stood for UKIP but only ot 96 votes.
I used to sit next to Antonia at the Evening Standard when she was a leader writer and I worked on Londoner's Diary. She stood for Islington South and Finsbury at the last General Election. Antonia is one of these seriously brainy think tank, A-list types. Where you get a radical, agenda setting, council like Westminster it attracts really high calibre candidates like Antonia to come forward. There is a sense that being a councillor matters, that it makes a difference.
There were lots of other Council byelections last week. Nine of them in London alone. In a blow to Ken Livingstone the Labour Party won the Weavers Ward byelection. They saw off a challenge from the Respect candidate who had the backing of the Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman.