Labour win Aldborough by-election
Labour has won the Aldboorugh by-election, taking the seat by more than 300 votes.
Newly elected Cllr Debbie Thiara will now join Conservative Cllrs Ruth Clark and Vanessa Cole representing constituents in the ward.
She polled 1,436 votes in yesterday’s election, with Conservative candidate Melvyn Marks getting, 1,071 votes.
No other candidate reached three figures in the count at Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford.
Liberal Democrat Christopher Greaves was third with 87 votes, United Kingdom Independence Party candidate Paul Wiffen was fourth with 83 votes, ahead of the Green Party’s Clive Durdle with 64 votes and the British National Party’s Daniel Warville who got 34 votes.
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Turnout was 24.6 per cent and four ballot papers were rejected.
Cllr Thiara said: “I am thrilled and honoured by the opportunity to serve the people of Aldborough.
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“As well as the genuine anger over the Tories’ betrayal on King George Hospital, I’ve picked up concerns about school places, care for the vulnerable and the local environment.
“I will be getting to work straight away and will work tirelessly for every resident. All I want to do is to make a difference for the people I now represent.”
Labour group leader Cllr Jas Athwal said Cllr Thiara will be an “outstanding champion for the people of Aldborough”.
Conservative council leader Cllr Keith Prince said: “Mid-term by-elections are notoriously difficult for the party in government.
“In this case it became difficult with the King George announcement.
“The fact that out share of the vote only slipped by five percentage points in a mid-term by-election is a real testament to Melvyn and his team and I am confident we will return three Conservative councillors in 2014.”
He added: “The real story is probably the collapse of the Liberal Democrat vote share from 14 per cent to barely three per cent.”