A British Turkish Cypriot businessman and activist is standing to be a local councillor in Tottenham, North London. Allen Windsor is the Liberal Democrats’ candidate for the upcoming by-election in Tottenham Hale ward, which is being held this Thursday, 9 March.
The election was called after a Labour councillor, Yannis Gourtsoyannism, resigned just nine months into his term following the Local Elections in May of last year.
Located in the east of the borough, Tottenham Hale ward has only ever had Labour councillors. The party’s three candidates won again in the 2022 ballot, although turnout was extremely low at just 27.15%.
Windsor has lived in Tottenham since 1979. He’s got involved in local political because he wants to bring about “much-needed change to the area” by offering local residents a democratic alternative to Labour on Haringey Council. The Liberal Democrats currently hold seven seats of a possible 57 on the Labour-dominated North London council.
A former police officer, turned businessman, Windsor says that “Tottenham Hale has been neglected for far too long”. He cites criminal activity, fly-tipping and an “epidemic of dirty streets” among the key local issues for residents. He is also committed to better local consultation following the newly introduced “divisive” policy of LTNs [Low Traffic Neighbourhoods] in the borough.
The son of Limassol-born artist Mehmet Salih Öksüzoğlu, Windsor is better known to the British Turkish Cypriot community by his birthname: Arkın Öksüzoğlu.
The married father of five was forced to change his identity eight years ago after receiving death threats from the former partner of his then wife. The situation was so severe that it required Interpol’s intervention.
Like his father before, Windsor is not one to stand on the sidelines, but believes passionately in community action. A practising Muslim, Windsor was at the forefront of the initial campaign to improve standards at Tottenham Park Cemetery – the biggest burial ground for British Turks. More recently, he has raised awareness about the discrimination that Turkish Cypriots routinely face because of the long-running dispute in Cyprus and its ramifications abroad.
As the London representative of the internationally recognised Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce (KTTO), Windsor has also been championing UK trading opportunities for businesses in North Cyprus.
Windsor told T-VINE, “I joined the Liberal Democrats because their values and vision totally align with mine. The party has been the most progressive on issues affecting Turkiye and North Cyprus, which can’t be said for the other two main parties.
“As a lifelong resident with a family in Tottenham, I am concerned about what is happening to my local area. It doesn’t feel safe, the streets are plagued by fly-tipping, and it this Labour Council constantly ignores the needs and concerns of the local community. Labour councillors just toe the line instead of actually standing up for what the residents want,” Windsor stated.
“If given the chance, I will be a strong voice for the local community, fighting on their behalf. The Liberal Democrats are the only real challenge to Labour in Haringey, so I hope people will get out and vote on Thursday, and vote for me and Lib Dems,” he added.
Windsor goes up against five other candidates in the Tottenham Hale by-election. They are: Sean O’Donovan – Labour, Dr Emma Chan – Green Party, Angelos Kyriacos Tsangarides – Conservative and Unionist Party, Amelia Allao – Christian Peoples Alliance, and Miraf Negusse Ghebreawariat, who is running as an Independent candidate.