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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Leeds Council leader hails ‘great day’ for Labour as party makes inroads

The leader of Leeds City Council has hailed a “great day” for Labour as the party made a net gain of five seats in the local elections.

Labour councillors have been elected in Guiseley and Rawdon and in Horsforth for the very first time after unseating Conservatives there.

Labour also took Weetwood, which previously belonged to the Liberal Democrats’ deputy group leader and Farnley and Wortley from the Greens.

However, in two surprise results, the council’s ruling party lost long-serving councillor, Liz Nash, to the Greens in Hunslet, as well as Middleton Park to the Social Democratic Party (SDP), who won a seat in Leeds for the first time since 1988.

The leader of Leeds City Council has hailed a “great day” for Labour as the party made a net gain of five seats in the local elections.

Leeds City Council and Labour group leader James Lewis said the results proved people were “fed up” with Boris Johnson and the Conservative government.

He said: “It’s been a great day for us in Leeds. We’ve won seats right across Leeds where the Conservatives thought they’d challenge us.

“Partygate has been part of it but the big issue has been the cost of living crisis.

“People are feeling squeezed and they’re not seeing any action from the government to tackle it. We’ve taken seats off all parties and that shows that people in Leeds are positive about our agenda for the city and see us as the right party to be running Leeds.”

Conservative group leader Andrew Carter held onto his seat in Calverley and Farsley, despite losses for the party elsewhere.

Tory councillor Ryan Stephenson said the cost of living had been the biggest issue on the doorstep of voters, and admitted people are, “Waiting to see what the government is going to do about it.”

Discussing the party’s losses in Guiseley and Horsforth, he said “Clearly we’ve had some issues in some places, which we’ll work on and come back and fight back on, but we’ve had some stonking results elsewhere so it’s a mixed bag for all parties I think.”

Coun Stephenson played down Labour’s chances of winning the next General Election, saying they had “nothing to offer the country”.

And he backed Boris Johnson to continue as Prime Minister, describing him as a “winner” and a “fighter”.

Liberal Democrat group leader Stewart Golton described his party’s results as “mixed”, having seen his own majority rise in his Elmet and Rothwell seat, while the party lost Weetwood to Labour.

Councillor Golton said Labour had based their campaign around attacking Boris Johnson.

He said: “In some areas, that’s resonated very well.

“However, you can’t do that kind of message in some communities in the city that feel left behind in Labour’s two-speed city.

“That’s been apparent in Middleton and in Hunslet and Riverside where Labour have some brittle majorities.”

Coun Golton warned Labour would have to “deliver on the ground”, rather than “rely on rhetoric about the government” if they were to avoid losing seats next year.

Election results in full 

Adel and Wharfedale – Conservative HOLD

Alwoodley – Conservative HOLD

Ardsley and Robin Hood – Labour HOLD

Armley – Labour HOLD

Beeston and Holbeck – Labour HOLD

Bramley and Stanningley – Labour HOLD

Burmantofts and Richmond Hill – Labour GAIN from Independent

Calverley and Farsley – Conservative HOLD

Chapel Allerton – Labour HOLD

Cross Gates and Whinmoor – Labour HOLD

Farnley and Wortley – Labour GAIN from Greens

Garforth and Swillington – Garforth and Swillington Independents HOLD

Gipton and Harehills – Labour HOLD

Guiseley and Rawdon – Labour GAIN from Conservatives

Harewood – Conservatives HOLD

Horsforth – Labour HOLD (x2)

Headingley and Hyde Park – Labour HOLD

Hunslet and Riverside – Greens GAIN from Labour

Killingbeck and Seacroft – Labour GAIN from Independent

Kippax and Methley – Labour HOLD

Kirkstall – Labour HOLD

Little London and Woodhouse – Labour HOLD

Middleton Park – SDP GAIN from Labour

Moortown – Labour HOLD

Morley North – Morley Borough Independents HOLD

Morley South – Morley Borough Independents HOLD

Otley and Yeadon – Liberal Democrats HOLD

Pudsey – Conservatives HOLD

Rothwell – Liberal Democrat HOLD

Roundhay – Labour HOLD (x2)

Temple Newsam – Labour GAIN

Weetwood – Labour GAIN from Liberal Democrats

Wetherby – Conservatives HOLD

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