DMU students and alumni succeed in local elections 2023

Three DMU students and graduates were elected as councillors for the first time on 4 May.

Three newcomers to municipal government.

Ektaveen Thandi

Ektaveen Thandi never expected to be making important council decisions three years after studying Politics and International Relations at DMU.

At 25, she defeated the conservative Gravesham Borough Council councillor by almost 1,000 votes to become a Labour councillor.

Ektaveen stated she never anticipated herself doing this and was pleased to be chosen. “Boundary changes added another council seat to my hometown’s two. I’m Gravesham’s youngest councillor in a completely red ward.

“I was excited and exhausted on election night after walking all day canvassing. 35,500 steps on 4 May.”

Ektaveen, who graduated from DMU in 2020 with a distinction, said she was excited for her new post and appreciative for her education. Her postgraduate law diploma allowed her to become a paralegal and get closer to becoming a solicitor.

She will work as a paralegal at a Legal 500 company on Chancery Lane while serving as a councillor for four years.

Ektaveen said she always liked politics, reflecting on her new post.

I joined the Politics Society at DMU since my family and I always voted Labour. My political involvement increased during my dissertation in my final year. I joined Labour six years ago and it’s incredible where it’s brought me!”

Ektaveen participated in a Frontrunners internship and a project to provide hygiene products to homeless people while at DMU.

“I loved DMU,” Ektaveen said. “Despite the Covid-19 lockdown near the end of my course, it’s great and I made lots of friends.”

Andrew Rushton

DMU History and Politics student Andrew Rushton became Lichfield’s youngest councillor when he won the Lib Dem seat by three votes against the Conservative councillor.

Andrew, 21, upset a Conservative seat. Three of seven candidates in his ward were elected, and six of them were within 100 votes of each other.

I won the seat from a Conservative councillor who had held it for 20 years, so there were some surprises,” he said.

I was shocked to win. We had three re-counts since this is one of the bluest regions around here.”

“The votes were very close and shows that every vote matters,” said Andrew, who returned back to Lichfield from Leicester to live with his parents in his last year at DMU.

How did a student become the youngest councillor?

“I joined a political party after having some in-depth discussions during my course,” he stated.

“I realized I wanted to make a difference. After researching all the parties, I decided the Lib Dems were progressive and had the correct ideas for me, especially because I was anti-Brexit.

I was urged to run by the local Lib Dems. “They were excited that I was the youngest candidate in the election and delighted that I won!”

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