John Allen-Petrie wins Billingsgate by-election


John Allen-Petrie has triumphed in the battle for Billingsgate in this week’s Common Council by-election.

Mr Allen-Petrie fended off stiff competition from fellow candidate Dawn Wright to win by just 10 votes yesterday, and will replace long-serving councillor Michael Welbank, who announced his retirement earlier this year.

He 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

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

Despite this, voter turnout in the Billingsgate ward was solid at 34.88%. Mr Allen-Petrie finished on 40 votes, Ms Wright on 30, with candidates Alpa Raja and Timothy Becker bringing up the rear on 14 and 6 respectively.

It will be the first civic role for Canadian-born Mr Allen-Petrie, who is Rouge Croix Pursuivant of the Royal College of Arms, the body responsible for granting new coats of arms and maintaining registers of arms, pedigrees, genealogies, Royal Licences, changes of name, and flags.

According to a biography on the college’s website, Mr Allen-Petrie studied at both Institut d’études politiques de Paris and the London School of Economics and spent part of his career at the Bank of England regulating the circulation and issuance of bank notes.

Current serving councillors have taken to Twitter to welcome Mr Allen-Petrie to the fold.

Lead image: Watermen’s Hall in the Billingsgate Ward