Newly-elected Labour councillor Edison Huynh believes the party have taken a big step towards victory at the general election following success in the councils.
Huynh, 30, was the first councillor elected in Lewisham on Friday, recording the most votes, 876, in Lewisham Central.
For a second consecutive borough election, Labour returned 54 councillors, the maximum number across all 19 wards.
It was an emotional day for Huynh, who was elected in Knight Academy school where he was a science teacher 10 years ago.
He said: “It’s doubly emotional because I’m in the corridors I used to walk up and down doing teacher duty.
“It’s extra special to continue serving my community in a different way. I grew up in Lewisham and am so lucky and grateful to get an opportunity to represent these people.”
There was further success for Sir Keir Starmer’s party as Mayor Damien Egan was re-elected, increasing his share of the vote to a record 58%.
Huynh believes that the party is in a strong position to capitalise on their performance in the next general election, which is due to take place within the next two and a half years.
He added: “We’ve taken some flagship Tory councils and it’s great to see so many Labour candidates elected across London and hopefully it’s a stepping stone to the general election.
“We’re looking in good shape.
“I’m really elated, the people of Lewisham have voted for Labour councillors across our borough.
“It’s amazing to see so many great candidates and now future colleagues being elected, I’m so looking forward to working with everyone to deliver for the people of Lewisham.”
As a school governor of Rushey Green Primary School, Huynh has pushed for better schooling in Lewisham.
Currently 90% of schools in the area are ranked good or outstanding, and he hopes that the next four years will enable Labour to achieve their target of 100%.
He added: “Our school achievement figures are going up and our exclusion figures are going down. We’ve tackled inequality of race.
“I know all the work that goes on behind the scenes. Education and tackling the climate crisis are the core parts of our ambitious Lewisham manifesto. I can’t wait to get stuck in.”
But for the Huynh, the immediate priority is sleep.
He said: “If I can muster up the strength for a pint I will. Then lots of sleep.
“It was a bit touch and go whether my Mum would make it on time today.
“I was the first one called. She was trying to find parking or something and she literally arrived two minutes before.
“That set me off I think. A lack of sleep, then seeing my Mum and it was a very emotional day.”