Husband of leading Labour politician wins seat

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THE husband of Don Valley MP Caroline Flint was one of six Labour councillors to gain seats on Doncaster Council at the expense of three Liberal Democrats and three Independent members.

Phil Cole unseated Coun Ray Mullis, a member of the ruling cabinet, in the Edlington and Warmsworth ward, a result which was welcomed by his wife, who is Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary.

Mr Cole said the six Labour gains on Doncaster Council were a “real reflection of the feelings of people in Doncaster, who feel let down by the coalition Government”.

He added: “People are crying out for new jobs and hope in Doncaster and they really don’t like getting second best and are turning in increasing numbers to Labour.”

Ms Flint said she was “delighted” that her husband, who works for her in her consitituency, had been elected and said she had been proud to campaign with him on the doorstep.

Another member of the council’s top team, Mark Thompson, also lost his seat to Labour in the Balby ward to new councillor Nuala Fenelly, and said he “felt sorry” for the people of Doncaster after the result.

He added: “I am proud of the work I have carried out in my time as a councillor, and I now feel we have a solid base from which to move forward. But I feel sorry for the people of Doncaster seeing what has been voted in today.”

The Independents also lost a council seat in the Armthorpe ward, with Sue McGuinness taking the seat for Labour with 1,677 votes against the Independent candidate Scott Pickles, who polled 1,289.

It was a bad day for the Liberal Democrats, who saw their presence on the council halved from six seats to three.

Labour now has 50 seats on the 63-seat authority, with the Tories unchanged on nine. Martin Williams, the single community group councilllor held his seat in Thorne yesterday, and the three Lib Dems hold on in the Bessacarr and Cantley Ward only.

Those involved in yesterday’s election were delayed on their journeys home for around an hour after police taped off and closed the exit to the Dome Sports complex, where the count had taken place, after a person was hit by a car.