LABOUR has gained a council seat in Blackburn from the Liberal Democrats in a by-election.

Mustafa Desai, the Labour candidate, won 638 votes in the by-election in the Queen’s Park ward, a 53.6per cent share.

The seat had been made available by the resignation of former Lib Dem Yusuf Sidat.

The Lib Dems came second with 366 votes, and the Tories polled 174. The turnout was 28per cent.

The result leaves Labour, the biggest single party in Blackburn with Darwen, with 28 councillors.

But they are being kept out of power by the ruling coalition of Conservative, Lib Dem and For Darwen parties, which has a total of 34.

Mr Sidat resigned on Christmas Eve, the day he was due to be expelled after not attending a meeting for six months.

Labour group leader, Coun Kate Hollern, said: “It was an excellent result for the residents of Queen’s Park.

“We are sending a clear message that this coalition isn’t working.”

Coun Desai is married, and works as a lecturer at Preston College.


Labour 638
Lib Dem 366
C 174.

May 2008 - Lab 756, Lib Dem 722. Swing 10.3% Lib Dem to Lab.