Former MP is Burnley Labour Party chief

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BURNLEY Labour Party has re-elected the town’s former MP Peter Pike as its chairman for the next 12 months.

Mr Pike was the unanimous choice of Labour members who attended the party’s annual general meeting at Plumbe Street Miners’ Club.

In his acceptance speech Mr Pike looked back on a successful 12 months for Labour in Burnley and looked forward to the party’s campaign to regain control of Burnley Borough Council.

He said: “Last year was our best year for a number of years. The results we had in the May elections were the most encouraging we have had for some time.

“This year, we have the chance to win the council back and regain control. That would be a tremendous achievement for the Labour party.

“Our candidates are selected and we even have candidates in the field for next year’s county council elections.

“We have been campaigning hard and our aim is to put a grim look of gloom on Gordon Birtwistle’s face when he witnesses the humiliating defeat which we believe the Liberal Democrats deserve after letting the people of Burnley down so badly.”

In his annual report, party secretary Peter Kenyon reported that contact has been made with more than 2,500 local people in the last six months.

Mr Kenyon also reported that Labour now has more young members than ever before and will be encouraging more young people to join.

The annual meeting also marks the return of Marcus Johnstone as Burnley Labour Party’s press officer, a post he last held in 1997.

A former journalist now working as a regeneration officer for a housing association, he was Padiham’s county councillor for eight years and will be fighting the marginal Rosegrove and Lowerhouse ward for Labour in May’s local elections

Officers elected were: chairman, Peter Pike; vice chairmen, Anne Royle and Julie Cooper; secretary, Peter Kenyon; treasurer, Mark Townsend; women’s officer, Betsy Stringer; youth officer, Robert Pate; ethnic minorities officer, Shah Hussain; agent, Peter Kenyon; assistant agent, Tony Martin; assistant secretary, Gill Harbour; political education officer, Jason Hunter; press officer, Marcus Johnstone; Trade Union liaison officer, Peter Thorne; IT officer Jonathon Barker; disablement officer, Sam McLachlan; fund-raising Officer, Brian Cooper/Liz Monk; retirement officer, Tony Harrison.