Ancoats and Beswick by-election results: Liberal Democrats win Manchester seat from Labour
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Liberal Democrats candidate Alan Good was elected in Ancoats and Beswick, beating Labour’s Gareth Worthington by 320 votes on Thursday.
The 26-year-old software developer has now become the second Lib Dem on the city council and one of only three opposition councillors in Manchester.
It follows Marcia Hutchinson resigning as councillor just six months after she was first elected to the role, claiming she was bullied by the Labour group.
She also said she was ‘treated differently’ as one of the only black councillors and spoke of a ‘toxic culture’ – but the local party has denied all allegations.
What have Labour said?
Council leader Bev Craig, who took over from Sir Richard Leese the day after the councillor quit, is now calling for an end to the ‘mudslinging’ in her party.
Speaking after the by-election results, Manchester’s first new council leader for 25 years promised to serve all residents regardless of who they vote for.
She said: “By-elections across the country generally tend to be unpredictable.
“I’ll be spending the next few days speaking to colleagues and seeing what we need to do to support our Labour councillors in the area who are working for the residents.
“We’ve got 96 councillors on the council – 93 of them are Labour.
“I’ve set out a very strong vision as to what it is that we’re going to deliver for our city and all of the residents I speak to are supportive of that.
“I want to have an inclusive leadership within my group going forward that supports all of the talents that we have.
“I want us to get beyond some of the mudslinging of the past to make sure we’re here to do what residents want us to do – and that’s to put them first.”
‘People want a change’
The Lib Dem candidate Alan Good received 1,113 votes – 53.2 % of the total.
The newly-elected councillor, who stood in Ancoats and Beswick before, said winning feels ‘surreal’, but the victory shows the Lib Dems ‘can win anywhere’.
He said: “I’ve spoken to hundreds of residents who feel ignored and neglected by our council in two seemingly disparate areas.
“One thing that united them was a want for change.
“I want to show people of Ancoats and Beswick that I’ll be a representative who turns up to work and work hard all year round.”
Labour candidate Gareth Worthington, who came second with 793 votes, said he was disappointed but wished the winner well in his new role as councillor.
He said: “I hope he does well for our community because that’s what I care about the most – Ancoats and Beswick. So I wish Alan the best. I’m going to keep going. I still definitely want to stand again because I love where we live.”
Green Party candidate Chris Perriam, who received 119 votes, said he was ‘very pleased’ with the result, describing it as ‘good news for democracy’.
Conservative Party candidate Alex Bramham, who came in last place with 66 votes, said he understands the frustration expressed by voters in the ward.