Only one of the two byelections held on 14 May had any party involvement, and in that byelection. Labour held its seat at Chopwell and Rowlands Gill ward, Gateshead borough council. The other election was in Llanbadrig ward, Anglesey county council, where William Thomas Hughes (Independent) prevailed over his namesake Tecwyn Vaughan Hughes (no description) by 255 to 201. One of the Mr Hughes’s is said to be a milkman, and the other Mr Hughes is an ally of notable Anglesey politician Peter Rogers, but unfortunately this reporter does not known which is which.
The Conservatives have retained their seat in Cowtons ward, Hambleton district council, through unopposed nomination. This means that there will be no poll in the byelection, which had been due to take place on 4 June combined with the county council elections and European Parliament elections.
There have again been a large number of party switches this week. Continuing in Wales, on Bridgend county borough council there are five councillors moving, including three Liberal Democrats forming a new group: Allan Jones (Pyle ward) from Labour to Independent, Peter Foley (Morfa ward) from Liberal Democrat to Independent, Bob Burns (Oldcastle ward) from Liberal Democrat to Democratic Independent, Kim Watkins (Hendre ward) from Liberal Democrat to Democratic Independent, and Carol Davies (Penprysg ward) from Liberal Democrat to Democratic Independent.
A shift of similar magnitude appears to be taking place on Wirral borough council, with three Labour councillors reportedly considering leaving the party although none has yet done so. The only one so far identified is Dennis Knowles (Seacombe ward).
Two councillors elected for RESPECT – The Unity Coalition to Newham borough council in Green Street West ward, Hanif Abdulmuhit and Asif Karim, after facing criticism for lack of attendance and warnings of deselection, have left the party. The two defectors had approached the Labour Party but were rebuffed. RESPECT has a single councillor left in Newham, Abdul Karim Sheikh.
The ongoing Parliamentary scandal about Members’ expenses has led to two councillors leaving their parties. Paul Gott, elected as a Labour Party councillor in Huncoat ward, Hyndburn borough council, has resigned from the Party saying that he could not associate himself with national politics. Over the Pennines in Kirklees borough council, longstanding Conservative councillor Khizar Iqbal (Dewsbury South ward) has resigned from the party and simultaneously announced his candidacy for Parliament as an Independent Conservative.
The death this week of Mike Sherwood, a Conservative councillor for Abbotsford ward on Erewash borough council, has meant that the election in Derbyshire county council‘s Kirk Hallam division will now be postponed. Cllr Sherwood had been nominated as a candidate in the division.