Belsize: Ousted Leila Roy blames Brexit protest vote
'In trying to make a protest over Brexit people have removed the only French woman'
08 May, 2018 — By Richard Osley
Leila Roy at a council meeting earlier this year
THE Conservative councillor who lost her seat in the three-way battle for Belsize believes Brexit was more influential than the Chalcots estate evacuation in the final vote.
Leila Roy had been praised for her role in the immediate fire safety crisis and then challenging the council over problems on the tower blocks in Adelaide Road. She lost her place on the council by just nine votes as the Liberal Democrats gained two seats at the expense of the Tories.
She said: “It wasn’t the Chalcots which changed the results. It’s not the Chalcots that all voted Lib Dem, it was issues outside the estate and in trying to make a protest about Brexit people have removed the only French woman on the council, which is ironic.”
Ms Roy had voted Remain in the 2016 referendum on Europe. Her fellow Conservative councillors in the Belsze ward for the last four years will also not be returning: Claire-Louise Leyland, a former group leader has already announced she would not re-stand, and the long-serving Jonny Bucknell had been deselected by the party.
Ms Roy joked: “There are some council officers who would’ve been happy with the result because of the questions I ask. Meric Apak [Labour housing chief] said I was a thorn in the council’s side, but a good side.”
Ms Roy’s defeat was confirmed after a recount on Friday lunchtime. Kirsty Roberts in fifth place was also close behind in what was the tightest result of Thursday’s boroughwide elections.
“For the first time in four years, I’ve slept eight hours,” said Ms Roy. “They won’t get rid of me that easily and I’ll still be around but now I get to spend time with my son, and be around for him for the last years of him being a child.”
Conservative Steve Adams was elected alongside Lib Dems Tom Simon and Luisa Porritt.