Residents go to the polls to cast their vote for a new councillor in Batley East by-election

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Residents in the Batley East ward are going to the polls today (Thursday) to vote for a new councillor to represent their area.

Upon the resignation of former Labour councillor, Fazila Loonat, at the end of July, a by-election was called for the Batley East ward.

Ms Loonat’s resignation came after she was given a 14-week prison sentence for perverting the course of justice in an attempt to help her partner avoid a speeding penalty.

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Despite previously being a safe Labour seat, the Batley East ward became a highly competitive battleground in this year’s local elections.

Voters are going to the polls today in the Batley East by-electionVoters are going to the polls today in the Batley East by-election
Voters are going to the polls today in the Batley East by-election

Just 14 votes separated Labour councillor Habiban Zaman and Conservative candidate Hanif Mayet following multiple recounts.

Mr Mayet is not standing in the by-election. A new candidate – Beverley Smith – has been put forward by the Conservatives.

A new candidate has also been nominated by the Labour group – Ebrahim Dockrat.

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Candidates from the Green Party, Yorkshire Party, Liberal Democrats and Social Democratic Party stood for various wards in May’s local elections, and the full list of candidates is as follows:

Labour: Ebrahim Dockrat.

Green Party: Simon Duffy.

Yorkshire Party: Bikatshi Katenga.

Liberal Democrats: Stephen Long.

Conservatives: Beverley Smith.

Social Democratic Party: Mark Steele.

Like with the local elections, residents must bring a valid form of ID with them to take part in the vote.

Voters can also use a Voters Authority Certificate, though this had to be applied for in advance.