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New Labour leadership off to flyer in West Lancs as first seat seized from Conservatives

04.30.09 | Comment?

The people of West Lancashire were celebrating today as news came through of the new Labour leadership’s first electoral success, barely two days into their new roles, against the incumbent Conservative administration.
 According the normally reliable press reports, Councillor Paul Cotterill, the new Leader of the Labour Group on the District Council and councillor for Bickerstaffe Ward, has also seized a seat in Scarisbrick from the Conservatives, making him the first councillor in the District’s history to hold two Council seats at the same time.

Councillor Cotterill said of the triumph:

‘This is great news for West Lancashire. We’ve been planning this for some time now, and have certainly taken the Conservatives by surprise. This is just the beginning though, I’m planning to take all three Conservative seats in Tarleton on Saturday, and nick a couple of seats in Wrightington and Parbold if there’s time. I estimate at the current rate of progress that Labour will be back in power in West Lancashire by early next week.’

Conservatives were said to be dismayed at the turn of events.  One insider bemoaned:

‘We’re not quite sure what has happened, to be honest. We didn’t even know an election had been called and certainly weren’t aware of any voting, which we understand is normal practice. The first my husband and I heard of it was when we looked at the normally reliable local paper this morning.’

Latest reports do suggest that the election process has been very low key indeed, and questions are being asked about whether the Returning Officer, knew as much as he might have done about the election.  Colleagues at the Council may have confirmed that he might be quite cross to hear about it all given that he’d not been told about an election taking place.

The Press Complaints Commission was also thought to be taking an interest in the story.  A spokesperson may well have said:

‘Certainly it is unusual for a normally reliable local paper simply to decide who should be a councillor where, and then just report it like that, and we will be checking this media outlet’s actions in the context of its responsibilities under the Representation of the People’s Act.  If found to be in breach of our standards, we could get quite cross for a bit or something.’

Meanwhile, Labour nationally was getting wind of the story. Gordon Brown is said to be very impressed with the turn of events in West Lancashire and is reported to have phoned the victorious team, saying:

‘We should go for a jar and discuss both this and a sensible post-Keynesian approach to fiscal stimulus in the context of a progressive tax regime. I’ll see if Alastair can make it.’

Even Barack Obama was said to be impressed. One source close to the president is reported as saying:

‘Geez, guys. It’s taken Barack 100 days to consolidate power in both houses, and these guys have done all this in around 24 hours! That’s impressive, man.’ 

Then he had to go and play basketball.

Piers Morgan, who used to be editor of a newspaper, was unavailable for comment, as he was busy throwing abuse at people on a talent show.

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