Labour sweep to victory in Barking and Dagenham Council elections by taking all 51 seats
PUBLISHED: 04:30 04 May 2018 | UPDATED: 04:30 04 May 2018
Labour have recorded a thumping victory in the Barking and Dagenham Council elections by winning all of the available seats.
The party saw off opposition challenges in all the wards and retained every one of the 51 seats they held during the last term.
“When people knock us on Facebook, when people knock us on Twitter, when people knock us in the Post, there is only one thing I want to say to them - and that is we are one Labour Party in one borough. We are one community,” said council leader Darren Rodwell moments after securing victory.
Labour won 77pc of all votes cast, with the Conservative Party picking up 22pc and all other parties receiving less than 1pc.
He added: “Three times we have cleared the slate, three times we have shown that Labour are the best people to run Barking and Dagenham.”
Conservative London Assembly member Andrew Boff picked up 711 votes in Longbridge but missed out on a seat by several hundred votes.
Their other high profile candidate, ex-Ukip parliamentary candidate Peter Harris, also failed to win a seat.
However earlier in the night he told the Post that on the doorstep people had seemed “fed up” with Labour’s ‘one party state’ control of the borough.
The turnout was 30.1pc, with a slightly greater number of voters turning out in Dagenham than in Barking.
The BNP’s two candidates, Tony McKay and Bede Smith, didn’t turn up to the count despite Mr Smith picking up 246 votes in Goresbrook.
The Green Party’s Matthew Crowley won 317 votes in Heath in his debut election.
Laila Butt, a councillor who is currently under investigation for failing to declare a property her husband rents out, was at the count but declined an interview.
New councillors include Andrew Achilleos, who works for Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas, the council leader’s daughter Emily Rodwell and Princess Bright, daughter of cabinet member Sade Bright.
Mr Cruddas, who was at the count, said a victory would be recognition for the hard work elected members put in over the last term.
“The council have played a tough hand because of the tremendous cuts,” he said just before the result was announced. “But [a clean sweep for Labour] would be a victory for the leadership across all the borough.”