A JUBILANT Burnley Labour Party stormed to a landslide victory over the Liberal Democrats in the Rosegrove with Lowerhouse by-election.
Labour’s candidate Bea Foster won the seat with 521 votes – double that of her Lib Dem rival who was beaten into third place by the British National Party.
Party officials claim the win signals people’s rejection of the Coalition Government’s cut agenda while Lib Dem councillors admitted to “learning a hard lesson” from the loss.
The final results from Thursday’s by-election saw Labour with 521, the BNP with 288, Lib Dems with 261, Conservatives with 81 and independent candidate Andrew Hennessey with 58.
Local Labour leader Coun. Julie Cooper said: “We are absolutely delighted and really grateful to the people of Rosegrove with Lowerhouse for putting their trust in Labour again. We’ll be working hard to justify that trust. Apart from it being a victory for Labour, Bea Foster is an excellent candidate. She has so much experience of community work.”
Burnley Labour Party chairman Peter Pike said the victory was a “massive boost”, adding: “It shows the people of Burnley reject the policies of the Lib Dems in supporting this Tory Government with broken promises and cuts after cuts.”
Lib Dem candidate Kate Mottershead said: “I knew it would be difficult but I also know Burnley’s Lib Dem councillors are doing really well for Burnley. I expected their achievements for the town to be enough to please people. But they weren’t, and we lost.”
BNP leader Coun. Sharon Wilkinson said: “We are pleased we came second but it was a poor turnout which shows how many people feel disillusioned with politics and politicians at the moment.”
Local Conservative Party leader Coun. Peter Doyle said: “Obviously it was a by-election we were not expected to win. The main disappointment was the increase in votes for the BNP.”
Independent candidate Andrew Hennessey vowed to “continue to criticise or praise what I see as right or wrong without wearing a political gag.”