A Labour by-election victory has put pay to any chances of the Conservatives regaining their control of Peterborough City Council.
Shaz Nawaz held the Park ward seat for Labour in yesterday’s by-election (Thursday, August 17), holding off the challenge of Arfan Khan from the Conservatives. The result means the Tories remain two seats off holding a majority on the 60-seat council, with another by-election to come in Eye, Thorney and Newborough in three weeks.
A large crowd of Labour supporters were in the Town Hall for the announcement of the result, with loud cheers and chanting greeting Mr Nawaz’s victory.
The celebratory mood continued outside with Mr Nawaz being stopped for selfies and horns being honked.
It took more than two hours for the votes to be counted, but once the result was in Mr Nawaz triumphed with 1,713 votes.
Mr Khan received 1,375 votes, followed by Graham Whitehead (UKIP) with 176, Ian Hardman (Liberal Democrat) with 109 and Carolyn English (Green Party) with 83.
Turnout was 49.93 per cent.
The seat had previously been held by Labour’s John Shearman, who resigned for personal reasons.
The other councillors in the ward are Richard Ferris (Labour) and John Peach (Conservative).
The Conservatives, who run the council, hold 29 seats, with the Labour group now holding 15.
There are seven Liberal Democrat councillors, three from the Liberal Party, three from the Werrington First group and two from UKIP, with one more seat still to be filled.
A third of the councillors will be up for re-election next May.
For reaction see www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk later today (Friday, August 18).