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Political History In Islington

Over the years, Islington has been a hotspot for politics and has seen its fair share of politicians pass through the borough.

With that being said, we’ve decided to take a journey back in time and look at how Islington’s political history has changed throughout the years.

Islington Council

The London Borough of Islington was formed on 1st April 1965 by merging the former metropolitan boroughs of Islington and Finsbury.

The Islington London Borough Council is the current local authority for Islington and came into play shortly before the formation of Islington in 1964.

Since the inception of the Islington Council, it has mostly been controlled by the Labour Party, with brief periods being controlled by other parties. The Council is elected every 4 years with 48 councillors being elected from 16 wards. The following shows which arty was in control of the Islington Council during which years:

  • 1964 to 1968 – Labour Party
  • 1968 to 1971 – Conservative Party
  • 1971 to 1981 – Labour Party
  • 1981 to 1982 – Social Democratic Party
  • 1982 to 1998 – Labour Party
  • 1998 to 1999 – No Overall Control
  • 1999 to 2006 – Liberal Democrats
  • 2006 to 2010 – No Overall Control
  • 2010 to Present – Labour Party

Current Parliamentary Constituencies

Islington North and Islington South & Finsbury are the two constituencies that are currently represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament.

Islington North was created in 1885 and has had 13 people take up the position of MP since its inception.

The MPs who have filled the role are as follows; Sir George Trout Bartley, David Waterlow, Sir George Touche, Sir Newton Moore, Sir Henry Cowan, Robert Young, Albert Goodman, Leslie Haden-Guest, Moelwyn Hughes, Wilfred Fienburgh, Gerry Reynolds, Michael O’Halloran and Jeremy Corbyn.

Islington South & Finsbury was created in 1974 and has had 3 people take up the position of MP since its inception. The MPs who have filed the role are as follows; George Cunningham, Christopher Smith and Emily Thornberry.

Islington also along with Hackney and Waltham Forest makes up the North East constituency of the London Assembly. North East is currently represented by Jennette Arnold, a Labour and Co-operative Party politician.

Past Parliamentary Constituencies

North and South & Finsbury are not the only constituencies however, as there has been a few different ones in Islington over the years.

Islington East was a constituency that was created in 1885 and had 14 people take up the position of MP before it’s abolishment in 1974.

The MPs who filled the role are as follows; Henry Bret Ince, Isaac Cowley Lambert, Sir Benjamin Cohen, Sir George Haynes Radford, Edward Smallwood, Alfred Raper, Austin Hudson, Arthur Comyns Carr, Robert Tasker, Ethel Bentham, Leah Manning, Thelma Cazalet, Sir Eric Fletcher and John Grant.

Islington South was a constituency that was created in 1885 and had 7 people take up the position of MP before it’s abolishment in 1950.

The MPs who filled the role are as follows; Henry Spicer, Sir Albert Rollit, Thomas Wiles, Charles Higham, Charles Garland,Tom Forrest Howard and William Cluse.

Islington West was a constituency that was created in 1885 and had 7 people take up the position of MP before it’s abolishment in 1950.

The MPs who filled the role are as follows; Richard Chamberlain, Thomas Lough, Sir George Samuel Elliot, James Despencer-Robertson, Frederick Montague, Patrick Donner and Albert Evans.

Islington South West was a constituency that was created in 1950, before being disbanded for the 1974 general election. The constituency only had 2 person fill the role of MP during its existence with Albert Evans and George Cunningham.

Islington Central was a constituency that was created for the 1974 general election, before being disbanded for the 1983 general election. The constituency only had 1 person fill the role of MP during its existence with John Grant.

Current State

Following the May 2018 selection, the Islington Council has 47 seats belonging to the Labour Party and 1 seat belonging to the Green Party of England and Wales.

Jeremy Corbyn has been the Member of Parliament for Islington North since 1983, and is currently the Leader of the Labour Party.

Emily Thornberry has been the Member of Parliament for Islington South and Finsbury since 2005, and is currently The Shadow First Secretary of State.

The Mayor of Islington is currently Councillor Una O’Halloran and the Deputy Mayor is Councillor David Poyser.

Who’s Lived Here?

As far as politics go, Islington has been home to many of the United Kingdom’s political leaders and figures. Two of the biggest names include former Prime Minister Tony Blair and current Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Tony Blair and his wife Cherie moved to Islington in 1993, moving onto the same street as future Islington South and Finsbury MP Emily Thornberry. The couple lived here for a few years, moving out of Islington to 10 Downing Street after Blair became Prime Minister in 1997.

Tony Blair also serves as the only member of the Labour Party to win three consecutive general elections, with victories in 1997, 2001 and 2005.

Jeremy Corbyn has been a resident of Islington since being elected MP for Islington North in 1983, and has been making headlines since the early 80s. From comments on his dress sense to questioning his actions, the press hasn’t exactly been kind to the Islington North MP.

However, Corbyn has been praised for his ability to capture the British youth’s attention and get more young people voting. This resulted in the Labour Party gaining an extra 30 seats, meaning the 2017 election ended in a hung parliament.

Islington has also been home to the likes of the former Mayor of London, Boris Johnson and Conservative Party MP Andrew Mitchell.

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