When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Labour lose Burnley to Lib Dems
COUNCIL leader and hospital campaigner Gordon Birtwistle has become the first Liberal to be sent to Parliament by Burnley voters in 75 years.
Coun Birtwistle's tough stance against the closure of Burnley General Hospital's Accident & Emergency and children's wards, and efforts to regenerate the borough, are thought to have been key factors in overturning a 5,778 Labour majority.
He said: "I would like to thank the people of Burnley for their bravery in voting for something new. I can assure you that I will not let them down.
Previously Burnley had been a Labour stronghold since 1935, when Victoria Cross winner Vice Admiral Gordon Campbell, a National Liberal, lost to Wilfred Burke.
Coun Birtwistle beat Labour candidate Julie Cooper by 1,818 votes after previous MP Kitty Ussher chose to stand down.
Mr Birtwistle polled 14,932 votes, compared to his Labour challenger's 13,114.
Richard Ali of the Conservatives took third place with 6,950, with the BNP's Sharon Wilkinson in fourth with 3,747.
Independent candidate Andrew Brown polled 1,876 votes, John Wignall of UKIP 929 and independent Andrew Hennessey 297.
Mr Birtwistle told the Lancashire Telegraph that he intended to stay on as a borough councillor, if he wins his Coalclough with Deerplay seat in today's borough polls.
But a new leader and council executive will be elected after Burnley Lib Dems meet over the weekend.
Mr Birtwistle, 67, of Rosehill, Burnley, has become the borough's MP at the fourth time of asking - he came second to Ms Ussher in 2005.
Click here to follow our live blog for updates.