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UKIP triumphs at European elections as big hitters lose out
VETERAN Liberal Democrat Chris Davies and British National Party leader Nick Griffin lost their European Parliament seats in elections for the north west declared today.
Both Labour and UKIP secured three Euro-MPs in the region with the Conservatives keeping two including East Lancashire solicitor Sajjad Karim.
Labour topped Thursday’s poll with 594,063 votes gaining one new MEP, ahead of second-placed UKIP who gained two with 481,932 votes.
The Conservative Party, winners in 2009, was beaten into third place and ended with two seats.
UKIP’s success reflected its national progress and built on a solid showing in the East Lancashire’s local elections where they gained their first two elected councillors in Hyndburn.
UKIP added former Blackburn College student Louise Bours and Steven Woolfe to re-elected deputy leader Paul Nuttall as north west MEPs.
The new regional Labour representatives at the European Parliament are Theresa Griffin, Afzal Khan and Julie Ward who started her career working for the Mid-Pennine Arts Association in Burnley in 1978.
University lecturer and Burnley borough councillor Wajid Khan failed to make it for Labour.
Jacqueline Foster and Sajjad Karim were re-elected for the Conservatives.
The Liberal Democrats had a bad night losing Mr Davies, first elected in 1999, and coming fifth behind the Green Party which also failed to secure a Euro-MP.
Briercliffe Liberal Democrat Gordon Lishman failed in his Euro-election bid as well as failing to be re-elected to Burnley Council.
Ms Bours said: "I am absolutely delighted. The result is a massive vindication of our policies.
"People in East Lancashire can rest assured that I am here for them. The vote shows people want change.”
Mr Karim - born in Blackburn, educated in Pendle where he established a law practice, and now living in Simonstone - said: “I shall make sure that East Lancashire is not forgotten in the European Parliament. We have seen a return to reactionary politics and the main parties must reach out to voters.”
Labour's Ms Griffin said: "I'm proud Labour topped the poll in the north west. “
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