MP plays part in by-election win

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright
Hartlepool MP Iain Wright
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HARTLEPOOL MP Iain Wright helped mastermind a comfortable by-election win with a majority of more than 3,500 votes.

Labour held the Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election, with Mr Wright in the thick of the action.

He had been asked by Labour leader Ed Miliband to be campaign manager for the Greater Manchester seat to pass on his experience of winning the by-election in Hartlepool in 2004.

Mr Wright, who won that election with a 2,033 majority after Peter Mandelson stepped down, said: “This is a really pleasing result and it is a bigger victory than we ever could have imagined.

“Oldham is similar to Hartlepool in many respects and I think in both towns people feel let down by this Government, with issues such as VAT increases and cuts to public services.

“This has always been a marginal seat, but what we have seen is the Conservatives collapse and our majority increase dramatically. I think that sends a message that this Government’s policies do not work for towns like Oldham and Hartlepool.”

The Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election was called after a special court found ex-Labour minister Phil Woolas had lied about Liberal Democrat Elwyn Watkins in May’s General Election, which invalidated the result.

The figures then showed only a 103 majority for Mr Woolas.

But yesterday’s election saw Labour increase on that markedly with Debbie Abrahams polling 14,718 votes, 42 per cent of all those cast.

Mr Watkins polled 11,160 votes while the Conservatives’ vote fell by more than 7,000 as Kashif Ali attracted only 4,481 votes, a fall of 13.6 per cent from May.