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EDITIONS
Friday, 18 October, 2002, 07:35 GMT 08:35 UK
Independent elected in Stoke
Mike Wolfe (right)
Mike Wolfe (right) watches the votes come in
Stoke-on-Trent's first elected mayor is the man who forced the election in the first place, independent gay rights campaigner Mike Wolfe.

The 51-year-old, who stood on a pro-mayor platform with his Mayor 4 Stoke Party, came from second place to edge ahead of Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent South, George Stevenson, by just 300 votes.

The British National Party finished third, winning nearly 20% of the vote in an election which only saw a 24% turnout.

Mr Wolfe, former chief executive of the city's Citizen Advice Bureau, trailed Mr Stevenson by 400 votes after the first round of voting.

Fringe candidate

But he pulled ahead after the second round with 12,693 votes compared to Mr Stevenson's 12,329.

Mr Wolfe is the fourth fringe candidate in recent months to be directly elected as mayor.


My vision has been built on the streets of Stoke-on-Trent and will continue to grow

Mayor Mike Wolfe
Football club mascot H'Angus the Monkey - alias Stuart Drummond - was elected Mayor of Hartlepool, "Robocop" Ray Mallon won in Middleborough and in Mansfield on Thursday night, independent candidate Tony Eddinton was elected mayor.

Mr Wolfe said: "Most of all I would like to say thanks to all the voters who have made me the People's Mayor.

"I am going to say to all the people in the city: 'give us a hand'.

'Multi-culturalism'

"My vision has been built on the streets of Stoke-on-Trent and it will continue to grow."

Mr Stevenson meanwhile criticised the BNP result.

"Stoke-on-Trent is not a racist city and we must make sure our message gets out.

"This city welcomes all people and we must build on its strength of multi-culturalism."

Unemployed BNP candidate Steve Batkin, 42, polled 8,213 votes, nearly 4,000 votes ahead of the Conservative party candidate Roger Ibbs.


Click here for more from BBC Stoke & Staffordshire
See also:

18 Oct 02 | Politics
18 Oct 02 | England
17 Oct 02 | England
18 Oct 02 | England
02 Oct 02 | England
03 May 02 | Politics
15 Nov 01 | England
26 Feb 01 | Politics
Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


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