Newly-elected Newham councillor aiming to become York MP

Cllr Luke Charters

Cllr Luke Charters - Credit: Andrew Baker/Newham Council

A deputy cabinet member in Newham has launched a bid to become an MP candidate for a constituency hundreds of miles away from the borough.

Cllr Luke Charters, who was only elected to represent Wall End ward on the council at last month's local elections, is standing to be Labour's candidate for York Outer.

The Yorkshire city is around 200 miles away from Newham and one Recorder reader said they were "appalled" and "flabbergasted" by the move.

They added: "What concern does this show for his constituents?"

But Cllr Charters said he is campaigning for Labour in his spare time and that is happening "regardless of whether or not I'm a candidate".

After his election in May, he was chosen to be deputy cabinet member for inclusive economy, housing delivery, climate emergency and council performance and transformation.

He told the Recorder: "It has been an honour to be elected to serve as a Labour councillor in Wall End where I have been a school governor for the last four years. 

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"Since getting elected, I have been busy getting stuff done for the people of Newham." 

He said his work included "going after rogue landlords" with a private rented sector licensing scheme and working on a report about the climate emergency.

Cllr Charters did not directly answer a question on whether a role as an MP so far away from Newham was compatible with his role on the council.

The Labour politician stood as the party's candidate to be York Outer MP at the 2017 general election.

He polled second with 21,067 votes, more than 8,000 behind the Conservatives' Julian Sturdy.

Announcing on social media that he would be running to be Labour's candidate for the seat once again, Cllr Charters said he lived in York for 20 years and went to school in the city.

He added: "In 2017 I was honoured to be Labour's candidate for York Outer.

"I'm determined that it's a seat we can win.

"I'm proud to be starting my campaign to be our party's candidate."