Blackburn 2021 election: Tories take two of Labor’s main quarters
TAXI driver Tiger Patel led the Tories’ charge in Blackburn with Darwen as they shocked the ruling Labor Party in two of its previously safe neighborhoods.
The popular and colorful local figure, whose viral videos kept voters entertained, grabbed the solid former district of Audley and Queen’s Park for the Tories by 113 votes in Thursday’s local election.
His colleague Jon Baldwin took Ewood, another Labor stronghold, beating former adviser Ashley Whalley by 31.
There was some consolation for the ruling party when its candidate Katrina Fielding ousted veteran Liberal Democrat Roy Davies in Darwen East.
Despite the shocks, Labor held comfortably in control of the borough council, as they also won Billinge and Beardwood from the Tories with a victory for Mohammed Irfan.
Blackburn with Darwen Council had 17 of its 51 seats up for grabs, with 26 seats needed to form a majority.
Labor remained in control of the council, holding 35 neighborhoods plus Independent Tasleem Fazal (out of the party due to allegedly anti-Semitic social media posts).
The Tories have 14 advisers, including Darwen South winner Andrew Walker, currently suspended for Facebook comments in 2018, who appeared to show their support for far-right EDL founder Tommy Robinson.
READ: Blackburn with Darwen: Election candidate under fire on Facebook
The Lib Dems have just left Cllr Paul Browne in Darwen East.
The new Cllr Patel, speaking to the King George’s Hall account after his victory, said: “I am honestly speechless for once. This victory is for the community. They want change, I’ve always felt it.
“Over the past three years we’ve done a lot of work in the local neighborhood and people have responded to it.
“I felt we had a chance. Then I just want to get down to business.
SCROLL DOWN FOR ALL BLACKBURN RESULTS WITH DARWEN’S BOARD ELECTION
Conservative Leader John Slater said, “Tiger has had a brilliant campaign and we are delighted with it.
“We broke the ceiling and people realized they had had enough of Labor. People are waking up.
“They can see a brighter future with our policies on weekly bin collection and stopping construction of homes in the borough until we have the infrastructure.
“Cllr Walker will sit with our group as an independent curator while he completes his training course as required by central office.”
READ: ‘Didn’t notice any crass graffiti,’ says election candidate Tiger Patel
Cllr Baldwin said: “I am proud and delighted, above all.
“I will work hard for the people of Ewood.
Katrina Fielding, who won for the Labor Party in Darwen East, said: “It has been a lot of hard work. It was not easy to win but the hard work paid off. ”
Mr Davies said: “Of course I am disappointed. I worked hard as an advisor.
Deputy Leader of the Labor Group, Cllr Phil Riley, said: “In the larger national context, we haven’t done badly. We lost Audley and Queen’s Park under very strange circumstances and Ewood by just 31 votes.
“It will be up to Cllr Patel to turn some of his wildest statements into effective representation for the people of the parish.
“Now we will have to look at what we can do to regain the confidence of Ewood voters.
“I would have been more worried about losing two old Labor quarters if we hadn’t won Billinge and Beardwood and Darwen East.
Veteran Labor Tony Humphrys won Blackburn South East. It was vacant after the retirement of former Deputy Leader Andy Kay, kicked out of the party for allegedly anti-Semitic Facebook posts.
BLACKBURN RESULTS WITH DARWEN BOARD ELECTION
AUDLEY & QUEEN’S PARK Maryam Batan, Labor 1096 Tiger Patel, Conservative 1209 Participation: 36.7%
BASTWELL & DAISYFIELD Les Cade, curator 344 Iftakhar Hussain, Labor 1932 Participation: 39%
BILLINGE & BEARDWOOD Mohammed Irfan, Labor 1188 Ismail Ibrahim Bapu Patel, independent 124 Rizwan Ali Shah, curator 884 Participation: 36.93%
BLACKBURN CENTRAL Samim Desai, Labor 1158 Carolyn Margaret Marrow, Curator 383 Participation: 25.6%
LITTLE HARWOOD & WHITEBIRK Abdul Samad Patel, Labor 1423 Iain David Sykes, Conservative, 533 Participation: 32.4%
BLACKBURN SOUTH & LOWER DARWEN Denise Gee, Conservative 1140 Liz Johnson, Labor Party 487 Participation: 28%
DARWEN WEST Janine Elizabeth Crook, Conservative 846 Diane McVee, Liberal Democrat 101 Brian Taylor, Labor 1257 Turnout: 34.7%
SOUTH DARWEN Simon Pearce Huggill, Liberal Democrat 374 Sarah Louise Rose, Labor 509 Andrew Stuart Walker, Conservative 1037 Participation: 30.9%
DARWEN EAST Roy Davies, Liberal Democrat 634 Katrina Louise Fielding, Labor 678 Sue Prynn, Independent 136 Ryan John David Slater, Conservative 329 Participation: 27.1%
EWOOD Jon Paul Baldwin, Conservative 740 Ashley Richard Whalley, Labor 709
LIVESEY WITH PLEASINGTON Michael John Jackson, Labor 585 Mark Russell, Conservative 1616 Participation: 35%
SHEAR BROW & CORPORATION PARK Hussain Akhtar, Labor 2428 Aaliyah Iman Alli, Conservative 237 Participation: 43%
WEST PENNINE John East, Liberal Democrat 437 Matthew Anthony Jackson, Labor 569 Neil Andrew Slater, Conservative 1507 Turnout: 40.7%
WENSLEY FOLD Dave Harling, Labor 1698 Helen Voegt, Curator 235 Participation: 31.9%
MILL HILL & MOORGATE Julie Louise Gunn, Labor 724 Rick Moore, Conservative 612 Participation: 24.1%
ROE LEE Martin Frank Kerry, Conservative 810 Sylvia Liddle, Labor 1,165 Participation: 31.1%
BLACKBURN SOUTHEAST Tony Humphrys, Labor 720 Connor Michael Plumley, Liberal Democrat 108 Ann Marie Helen Tolley, Conservative 392 Turnout: 20%