Battle heats up for Billingsgate by-election


In a busy week for City ward by-elections, Billingsgate voters will head to the polls this Thursday to elect a replacement for retiring councillor Michael Welbank.

Four candidates are vying for the position, among them Rouge Croix Pursuivant of the Royal College of Arms John Petrie, barrister Timothy Becker, former IT marketing director Dawn Wright and Alpa Raja, an insolvency accountant for a City firm.

The vote on 22 March will be the second in as many days for the City, following Shravan Joshi’s win in the Bishopsgate by-election on Tuesday evening.

The winner will join councillor Jamie Ingham Clark and alderman Matthew Richardson in representing Billingsgate, which covers the small river-side pocket of the City between London Bridge and Tower Bridge and has just 220 registered voters.

It could be a case of third time’s a charm for Mr Becker in the by-elections having twice lost out in Bishopsgate, beaten by Benjamin Murphy in last November’s race and forced to withdraw from the most recent ballot after his nomination papers were ruled invalid. Ms Wright, a member of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, also withdrew from contesting Bishopsgate.

Candidates will have the opportunity to address voters and take questions at the traditional wardmote on 21 March at noon at Watermen’s Hall, 18 St-Mary-at-Hill EC3R 8EF. The vote will take place at the same location on 22 March between 8am and 8pm with a result expected soon after polls close.

Lead image: Watermen’s Hall in the Billingsgate Ward