A Tory Councillor who was described as being a person who “lit up the room with joy and warmth,” has sadly passed away today, leading to the suspension of the local election in Southampton’s Coxford ward.
Conservative Councillor Graham Galton was standing for election in Coxford, in Southampton, having represented the nearby ward of Millbrook for the past four years – but died after polls opened this morning.
In a profile on the council website, Mr Galton said he had retired after a 50-year career in the gas industry and was a Southampton FC season ticket holder. Diana Galton, his wife, was also standing as a Tory councillor in the same ward.
Cllr Daniel Fitzhenry, the leader of the council’s Conservative group, praised his “humour and willingness to help others”.
He told his local Daily Echo newspaper: “There are people who light up a room with joy and warmth when you see them, and Graham was one of them.
“We will miss you, Graham, so very much, and will remember you and that smile of yours forever more.”
Southampton City Council issued a warning to residents to stay away from polling stations, saying in a statement: “The returning officer has been advised of the death of Coxford ward candidate Mr Graham Galton, who was standing for election to Southampton City Council in today’s elections.
“Our condolences go to Mr Galton’s family. The law provides that where proof of death of a candidate is delivered to the returning officer after polls have opened, but before the declaration of result, the poll must be abandoned, and a new election must be held for that ward.”
The vote in Coxford will now take place within the next 35 days.