Lewisham mayor Damien Egan steps down to run in Kingswood by-election in Gloucestershire

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The Kingswood by-election was triggered when Conservative MP Chris Skidmore stood down over government plans for new oil and gas licences in the North Sea.

Damien Egan has resigned as mayor of Lewisham. Mr Egan, who has been the directly elected mayor since 2018, has stepped down to fight the Kingswood MP by-election in Gloucestershire.

Egan was announced as Labour’s candidate for the constituency yesterday (January 9).

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In a statement announcing his resignation today (January 10), Mr Egan said: “On Friday the current MP for Kingswood, resigned. I have been selected to fight this by-election and therefore I have informed the chief executive of my decision to resign as the mayor of Lewisham.

“I want to thank everyone in Lewisham for their support over the last 14 years from when I was first elected as a Lewisham councillor to now as mayor.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to be the mayor of Lewisham and I am proud of what we have achieved by working together: turning around children’s services, improving local schools, an ambitious council house building programme, and our work to support independent high street businesses.”

The by-election in Kingswood was triggered last Friday (January 5) when Conservative MP Chris Skidmore stood down in protest over the government’s decision to grant new oil and gas licences in the North Sea.

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The seat was held by Labour until the 2010 election, but the Conservatives won it with a 11,000 majority at the last election in 2019.

Damien Egan. (Photo by Lewisham Council)Damien Egan. (Photo by Lewisham Council)
Damien Egan. (Photo by Lewisham Council) | Lewisham Council

Whoever wins the by-election won’t serve as the area’s MP for long. The Kingswood constituency will be abolished at the next general election and its area absorbed into three other constituencies, including the new Bristol North East constituency.

Mr Egan was selected as Labour’s candidate for Bristol North East parliamentary seat in July 2023.

The date of a by-election in Lewisham to elect a new mayor will be announced in due course. Mr Egan won the last Lewisham mayor election in 2022 for Labour with 58 per cent of the vote.

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