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Labour wins local council seat from BNP

Angela Sinfield won the vote for the West Yorkshire seat on Bradford Council with 1,819 votes, 603 more than BNP's Ian Dawson.
None | By Agence France-Presse, London
PUBLISHED ON MAR 24, 2006 06:35 PM IST

A candidate from Britain's governing Labour Party emerged victorious Friday from a local council by-election contest with the far-right British National Party (BNP).

Labour's Angela Sinfield won Thursday's vote for the Keighley West Yorkshire seat on Bradford Council with 1,819 votes, 603 more than BNP candidate Ian Dawson, who came in second with 1,216 votes.

The other two candidates were Conservative Lionel Lockley, who secured 627 votes and Liberal Democrat Victoria Salmons, who won 208. Turnout was 35 per cent.

The seat became vacant after sitting BNP councillor Angela Clarke stood down last month. The party won four seats on Bradford Council in 2004, but now has only three.

Sinfield rose to prominence in the town when she spearheaded a campaign against local men "grooming" teenage girls for sex, a struggle which led to a police investigation and prison sentences for some offenders.

But she claimed the BNP hijacked the issue, portraying the problem as one of men from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh preying on white girls and using it in national campaigns.

"The BNP used it to their own ends without ever doing anything concrete about it," Sinfield told the Guardian newspaper.

In last year's general election, BNP leader Nick Griffin chose to stand in Keighley, although he only got nine per cent of the vote.

Griffin was acquitted last month of inciting racial hatred in a trial brought after an undercover TV reporter infiltrated party meetings.

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