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Friday, 3 May, 2002, 13:45 GMT 14:45 UK
Pledge to protect ethnic communities
Anti-BNP demonstrators
BNP candidates in Oldham were defeated
The government says it will protect ethnic communities who feel vulnerable after the British National Party (BNP) won three council seats in Burnley.

The far-right party won it's third seat in the town after five recounts.

However, the BNP came away empty handed in Oldham, where they fielded candidates in five wards.

Phil Woolas, Labour MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, says the campaign to keep the BNP off Oldham Council has been a success.

Carol Hughes
Carol Hughes is a BNP winner in Burnley

He said: "The Labour government will protect those communities who may feel vulnerable in the wake of the BNP vote.

"We know from last year's events that the BNP have support.

"I believe that there are some serious reasons and some reasons of bigotry why they get support.

"We have defeated them at the polls in Oldham and now we have the platform to address the reasons why some people feel it's necessary to vote for the BNP.

"I am disappointed they came second, but goodness me, they would have come first in some seats if we hadn't have tackled them."

Elsewhere in Greater Manchester, Labour held on to Manchester, Warrington, Salford, Bury and Tameside, Wigan, Rochdale and Trafford.

Proved wrong

The Lib Dems kept control of Stockport and the Conservatives held on to Macclesfield.

Labour remains in control of Bolton - but by the narrowest of margins. The group who have been in power for 22 years lost three seats to the opposition, but have retained a two seat majority.

Labour leader Bob Howarth says he is pleased they have proved the doubters wrong.

He said: "I'm very pleased that the merchants of doom and gloom have been proved wrong.

"It means we can now look forward to another year of consolodation and improvement."

Local Election results


After 174 of 174 councils

Councils
Party Total Net
Lab 63 -8
Con 42 9
LibDem 15 2
Ind 0 0
Oth 2 2
NOC 52 -5
Councillors
Party Total Net
Lab 2402 -339
Con 2005 237
LibDem 1263 45
Ind 136 -79
Oth 101 2
Local Election results
Enter your postcode

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