The race to find a replacement for disqualified Labour Colindale councillor Alan Sloam began in earnest this week.

Barnet's Labour party has been first to announce its candidate, Zakia Zubairi, for the by-election expected to take place at the end of March.

Mrs Zubairi is a member of Colindale's Labour action team, and has lived in the borough for 25 years. She is retired, a school governor and has two children and three grandchildren.

"It's a chance for residents to give the thumbs down to service cuts, such as Grahame Park library hours being cut and the ratcatchers being scrapped," she said.

"Instead, Colindale needs action to clean up the graffiti and dumped rubbish and litter, and deal with the rats."

The by-election can now take place, after Mr Sloam's appeal against his ban from office was quashed at the end of last month.

Mr Sloam was convicted of trying to deceive Camden Council over four parking fines handed out to his son, when he wrote a letter on council notepaper claiming that a disabled friend had been using the car when the parking tickets were given out.

He was struck off last year by the Standards Board for England, but appealed against the decision.

Labour leader Phil Yeoman said: "Alan Sloam's conduct was totally unacceptable both to myself and the Labour Party, but I am pleased Colindale residents have the opportunity to elect a new councillor and give their verdict on the Tories running the town hall."