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Friday, 3 May, 2002, 14:02 GMT 15:02 UK
BNP shock for North
BNP winner David Edwards
The British National Party won two seats in Burnley
Labour Party officials have accused the British National Party (BNP) of trying to "tear apart" communities after the success of three local election candidates in Lancashire.

Carol Hughes, David Edwards, and Terry Grogan all won seats for the BNP on Burnley Borough Council.

But the party failed to win support in Oldham and in Sunderland.

And in Peter Mandelson's Hartlepool constituency, the former Northern Ireland Secretary watched as a "monkey" was elected Mayor.

H'Angus the Monkey
Stuart Drummond as H'Angus the Monkey

In Burnley, Mr Edwards came second with 898 votes in his ward of Cliviger with Worsthorne, and Ms Hughes won Rose Grove with Lowerhouse, on 751 votes.

Mr Grogan scraped in in third place in the Gannow ward, polling 817 votes after five recounts - just four ahead of his Labour rival.

A Labour Party spokesman said the BNP's success was "disappointing".

Stuart Drummond, also known as H'Angus the Monkey and more familiar as the outrageous mascot for Hartlepool United FC, threw a banana skin under the electoral process to storm to victory.

Mr Drummond rode to victory on a platform of free bananas for schoolchildren.

Mr Drummond said: "Forget about the monkey. The monkey was there only for promotion purposes. I am Stuart Drummond, I am the mayor of Hartlepool, not the monkey."

Labour faces a tough challenge from controversial ex-police superintendent Ray "Robocop" Mallon in the mayoral contest at Middlesbrough.

In areas experimenting with all-postal voting like Gateshead and South Tyneside - traditionally low-polling Labour strongholds - the turnout was more than 50%.

Ray Mallon
Ray Mallon is hoping to win in Middlesbrough

The Liberal Democrats lost control of Sheffield City Council after sweeping gains for Labour, which took five seats from the Liberal Democrats plus two from independent councillors. It means Sheffield now has a hung council.

Labour is the largest party with 40 three seats, the Lib Dems have 42 and the Conservatives, with just two seats, hold the balance of power.

Jan Wilson, leader of the Labour group, said the party had learned lessons from its previous defeats.

Liberal Democrat group leader Peter Moore admitted he was extremely disappointed, saying there would now have to be negotiations between the parties to decide how the council would be run.

Bad news

In Barnsley and Rotherham Labour held on comfortably to its huge council majorities, although it lost a number of seats to independent candidates. In Bassetlaw, Labour has held on to power - but with a reduced majority.

The Labour leader of Doncaster Council, Martin Winter has become Yorkshire's first elected Mayor. He received 25,707 votes compared with 12,170 for second-placed candidate, Conservative Andrew Burden, after a six-hour count. The turnout in Doncaster was 61,500 - 28.5%.

There was bad news for Labour in North Tyneside, where Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions Stephen Byers is the MP. After a second round of counting, Conservative Chris Morgan beat Labour's Eddie Dark to take the Mayor's office by 26,083 to 24,531.

Martin Winter
Martin Winter: Yorkshire's first elected Mayor

The Labour Party maintained its grip elsewhere in Tyne and Wear, with big majorities in South Tyneside, Sunderland and Newcastle.

In South Tyneside, no wards changed hands. In Sunderland, the Conservatives gained one seat from Labour and in Newcastle, Labour lost two seats to the Lib Dems - with the Conservatives failing to win a single seat.

In Lancashire, the Conservatives lost Hyndburn and Rossendale, but took control of West Lancashire. Labour remains in administration in Preston and Pendle, and is still in overall control in Blackburn despite losing some seats.

In Chorley postal voting led to a turn out of 61% - one of the highest in the country.

Massive gains

In Blackburn with Darwen, the Lib Dems picked up seats, but Labour remains firmly in control, despite losing the seat of one of its cabinet members Gail Barton.

Hull saw Labour lose control of the city council for the first time in 30 years, with Lib Dems making massive gains.

The Tories held their two seats, and as before four went to independent candidates.

In Cumbria, Barrow's Conservatives conceded power after Labour took a vital seat and in Carlisle the leading Conservative group lost two seats - both to Labour - but still retain overall control of the authority.

On South Lakeland Council, elections in one third of the 52 seats left the political balance almost unchanged.

No change

In Merseyside Labour remain in control of Knowsley, St Helens, Halton, Ellesmere Port and Neston, and Warrington. The Lib Dems remain in power in Liverpool.

There is still no overall control in Chester, Wirral, or Sefton, where the new independent Southport party took three seats - two from the Lib Dems and one from the Tories.

Chairman of the Southport Party, David Cobham - who is the new Cambridge councillor in the town - said the result was a "victory for democracy".

In Greater Manchester Labour held on to Bolton with a majority of three. There was no change elsewhere with Labour holding on to Manchester. Conservatives held Macclesfield and thanks to postal voting in Trafford turnout was up 17% - most of which went to Labour, which held the seat.

Local Election results

After 174 of 174 councils

Party Total Net
Lab 63 -8
Con 42 9
LibDem 15 2
Ind 0 0
Oth 2 2
NOC 52 -5
Party Total Net
Lab 2402 -339
Con 2005 237
LibDem 1263 45
Ind 136 -79
Oth 101 2
Local Election results
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03 May 02 | England
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