Landslide victory for Labour in Batley East by-election
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Labour has taken the seat by a landslide in Thursday’s (August 31) vote, with newly elected councillor Ebrahim Dockrat vowing to give the community a fresh start.
The seat was previously Labour’s, belonging to former councillor Fazila Loonat who was sentenced to 14 weeks in prison for perverting the course of justice in an attempt to help her partner avoid a speeding penalty. Due to the length of her sentence, she was unable to continue in her role as councillor and resigned at the end of July, leaving a seat up for grabs.
After May’s local election ended with a nail-biting finale in the Batley East ward, with just 14 votes separating the Labour councillor Habiban Zaman and Tory candidate Hanif Mayet, the outcome of the by-election was difficult to predict. However, Labour’s Ebrahim Dockrat was victorious, taking 2248 of the 3069 votes – around 73%.
The Conservatives trailed behind, with their new candidate Beverley Smith, taking 413 votes, or 13%. The Liberal Democrats got 178, the Green Party 145, the Yorkshire Party 42 and the Social Democratic Party 24.
Mr Dockrat said: “It’s an incredible privilege to have been elected to represent my home town and I am really humbled by the scale of this result.
“I spent this campaign talking to people across Batley East about the fresh start that I want to deliver as a hardworking local councillor – and the fresh start that Labour wants to deliver across Kirklees and the country.
“After 13 years of unprecedented cuts to communities like ours, the huge swing we have seen from the Conservatives to Labour tonight shows that people are crying out for change. That’s exactly what we will bring and I can’t wait to get started tomorrow on the hard work of supporting people in my community as their local councillor.
“My thanks to everyone in our community and everyone who has supported me; my friends, my family and my campaign. We’ve shown tonight that together, we can deliver a fresh start.”