HARTLEPOOL’S Labour leaders have hailed their by-election win a “tremendous” victory after beating their nearest rival by more than 400 votes.
Allan Barclay is the latest Labour councillor to take his seat within the council chamber at Hartlepool Borough Council after winning the Manor House by-election last night.
Coun Barclay received a total of 639 votes with his nearest rival, UKIP candidate Tom Hind, second with 226.
Putting Hartlepool First’s Mick Stevens secured 194 votes while Mandy Loynes, of Local Conservative, came fourth with 74 votes.
The turnout was low with just 15.79 per cent of residents in the Manor House ward casting their vote.
Hartlepool MP Iain Wright hailed the result a “tremendous victory” for Labour and the outcome was met with whoops and cheers within the council chamber at the Civic Centre.
Coun Barclay, 60, of Leyburn Street, was a councillor for two years in the former Throston ward and said he was “over the moon” to be back.
He said: “I am delighted with the result and the support I have received has been overwhelming.
“I would like to thank Stephen Akers-Belcher and Marjorie James for their help and support and we look forward to working together in the Manor House ward.”
The council leader and Labour group leader, Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher, said: “I am delighted and this incredible result demonstrates that the community is supportive of what we are trying to achieve since we took control of the council.”
It means Labour retains 19 out of 33 seats on the council.
Mr Hind said he was “pleased” to come second, adding: “We put a lot of hard work and canvassing into this by-election.”
Conservative group leader Ray Wells said: “Congratulations to Allan Barclay on his re-election to the authority and we look forward to working with him in the future.”
Mr Stevens, 66, said: “I’d like to thank my supporters for their help.”
The by-election was sparked after Labour councillor Angie Wilcox resigned on the back of two employment tribunal cases involving the charity she manages, Manor Residents’ Association, failing to pay national minimum wage.
Coun Wilcox was also suspended from the Labour group while investigations were carried out.