Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

No Civil War but Labour at a Loss over Poll Results

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

No Civil War but Labour at a Loss over Poll Results

Article excerpt

Byline: JAMES HARRISON Local democracy reporter @JHARRISONLDR

THERE is no "civil war" within Sunderland's Labour Party following a "terrible" round of local elections, a senior councillor has insisted.

The opposition Liberal Democrat group was quick to pounce on social media comments by Coun Debra Waller, which warned Labour risked losing control of the city.

The deputy cabinet member for environment and transport used Facebook to vent her frustration, following a night which saw her party's majority cut by nine councillors.

If it go route, Responding to a post on the Sunderland Labour page, she said: "We need to do something quick or it is a sad fact but we will loose [sic] control of this city in the next few years."

have Coun " The results on the night left Labour with 51 councillors in the council chamber - the fewest it has held since 2010, when it went into local elections with 48.

Opposition Conservatives and Liberal Democrats both improved their standings, while UKIP and the Green Party won their first seats in Sunderland.

Margaret Crosby, who was victorious in Coun Waller's Sandhill ward, said: "Our city centre is a shadow of its former self, the Vaux site has remained effectively empty for 20 years, the scandal with children's services is a national disgrace, and the city is strewn with rubbish and potholes.

"The fact is, the reason that Labour lost on May 2 was because of their shocking record in the city.

"At local election time, voters are intelligent enough to recognise that they are about local issues."

The election results mean two of Sandhill's three council seats are held by the Lib Dems, with the third occupied by Labour's Coun Waller.

The recently elected Coun Crosby took the seat vacated by Lynn Appleby, who was elected last year representing the Lib Dems, but who was forced to sit 'without party badge' following a row over offensive social media posts and who quit the city council in the run-up to polls. …

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