One-horse race for deprived city seat: NEWHAM NORTH-EAST: Labour candidate prepares for victory

Paint was peeling off some homes, a garage had been wrecked by teenagers smashing a car into it and concrete tubs contained rubbish rather than flowers, writes Will Bennett.

Bill Rose, chairman of the tenants' and residents' association on the estate in Newham, east London, wanted something done and Stephen Timms was listening intently and making notes.

Mr Timms is likely to have many such cases to deal with when he becomes the Labour MP for Newham North-East at a by-election on 9 June. Caused by the death of Ron Leighton, it is one of three contests in adjoining Labour-held constituencies on the same day.

Ironically, many of Mr Rose's complaints were about lack of action from Newham council officials. The Labour candidate was leader of the council for four years.

Newham has the unenviable official status of being the most deprived area in England. Unemployment is 18.8 per cent, more than a third of households receive income support and there are high levels of infant mortality.

If the council elections held on 5 May are any guide, Mr Timms will win comfortably. Labour won all 22 seats in Newham North-East, taking 62 per cent of the vote compared to 16 per cent for the Tories and 15 per cent for the Liberal Democrats.

Mr Timms, 38, a manager in a computing and telecommunications firm, should get strong support from the ethnic groups in the constituency which comprise 55 per cent of the electorate. They include Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Tamils, West Indians and Somalis.

He believes that the fortunes of Newham can be reversed if it becomes part of a prosperous east Thames corridor to Europe. The first step would be for the Government to approve the interchange station in the borough for the Channel tunnel rail link. He said: 'Given the right government decisions over the next 20 years the whole of this part of London could be transformed for the better.'

The battle for second place between Philip Hammond, the Conservative, and Alec Kellaway, the Liberal Democrat, could be close. The Conservatives were ahead by a margin of almost three to one in 1992 but their vote is under pressure this time.

Mr Hammond, 38, director of a medical equipment company, has the disadvantage of being the only major party candidate who does not live in the borough. He is the chairman of Lewisham East Conservative Association in south London and is fighting his first election.

He insists that there is a strong core of Tory support and says any wavering is due to 'a general absence of the feel-good factor'. He is concentrating his fire on Newham council, criticising it for spending too little on education while getting into debt.

Mr Kellaway, 40, an economist and market research consultant, is the sole opposition councillor on the 60- strong council. He is concentrating his campaign on unemployment, housing and transport and, although his ward is not in Newham North-East, his high local profile plus some Tory protest votes may enable him to overtake Mr Hammond.

Candidates: Richard Archer (Natural Law Party); Vita Garman (Buy the Daily Sport); Philip Hammond (Conservative); Jo Homeless (House Homeless People); Alec Kellaway (Liberal Democrat); Anthony Scholefield (UK Independence Party); Stephen Timms (Labour).

1992 result: R. Leighton (Labour) 20,952, JH Galbraith (Conservative) 10,966, Dr JJ Aves (Liberal Democrat) 4,020. Labour majority 9,986.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine