Wakefield local elections 2021: Labour loses further seats as Liberal Democrats win in Knottingley again

Labour has lost more ground in Wakefield as a second round of local election results was declared on Friday evening.

Labour lost Knottingley to the Liberal Democrats for the second time in a row.

After losing three of the first eight seats called earlier in the day, the council's ruling party then lost Pontefract South to the Tories for the first time in a decade.The Liberal Democrats meanwhile, repeated their success in Knottingley in 2019, by taking another seat there from Labour by a resounding margin.

However, Labour did hold onto its territory in Normanton and Altofts and Whitwood.

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They also won back a seat in Airedale and Ferry Fryston, where they lost in 2019 to the now disgraced independent councillor Alex Kear.Castleford Central and Glasshoughton also remained in Labour hands, as did the Pontefract North ward.

Conservative candidate Tony Hames took Pontefract South from Labour in a narrow victory.

Tony Hames who will be among the new Conservative councillors after winning Pontefract South, put his victory down to the performance of the government.

Mr Hames said: "I ran in 2019 (in Pontefract South) and I lost narrowly then. I wasn't going to run again, but then I had a phonecall to persuade me.

"I think the result is a reflection of public opinion and people can see the government is delivering a very successful vaccination programme and has got a grip on things."

Julie Medford will be among Labour's new councillors, having won for the party in Normanton.

The seat has been vacant for a year following the death of the highly respected former councillor Alan Wassell in 2020.

Ms Medford paid tribute to Mr Wassell, saying: "Alan was amazing. We really, really miss him.

"He was a great help to me when I first got into politics and I asked his family for permission before I ran for election, because I felt that was important."

A former lollipop lady, Ms Medford said that improving road safety in Normanton were among her priorities for the town.

With six seats still to be declared tonight, Labour currently has 43 of the council's 63 seats. The Conservatives have 15 and the Liberal Democrats have two.

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Seats results at 9.30pm

Ackworth, North Elmsall and Upton - To be declared

Airedale and Ferry Fryston - Labour HOLD and GAIN from Independent (two councillors elected)

Altofts and Whitwood - Labour HOLD

Castleford Central and Glasshoughton - Labour HOLD

Crofton, Ryhill and Walton - To be declared

Featherstone - To be declared

Hemsworth - To be declared

Horbury and South Ossett - Labour HOLD

Knottingley - Liberal Democrats GAIN from Labour

Normanton - Labour HOLD

Ossett - Conservative GAIN from Labour

Pontefract North - Labour HOLD

Pontefract South - Conservatives GAIN from Labour

South Elmsall and South Kirkby - To be declared

Stanley and Outwood East - Labour HOLD

Wakefield East - Conservative GAIN from Labour

Wakefield North - Labour HOLD

Wakefield West - Labour HOLD

Wakefield South - To be declared

Wakefield Rural - Conservative HOLD

Wrenthorpe and Outwood West - Conservative GAIN from Labour