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Last Updated: Friday, 30 July, 2004, 10:59 GMT 11:59 UK
City UKIP member holds vital vote
Frank Leeming
Frank Leeming: Derby UKIP councillor
Derby's lone UK Independence Party (UKIP) councillor could hold the balance of power in the city - after a by-election win for Labour.

Labour's Lisa Higginbottom won the Mackworth seat, giving the party 25 councillors.

However, the Conservative/Liberal Democrat alliance also boasts the same number of city council seats.

The delicately balanced situation means UKIP councillor Frank Leeming could hold sway on some crucial votes.

Ms Higginbottom took the seat for Labour, winning by 239 votes from the Liberal Democrat Simon Lysaczenko.

The by-election was caused by the death of councillor Lonny Wilsoncroft in May.
Lisa Higginbottom (Lab) 1180
Simon Lysaczenko (LD) 941
Frank Harwood (Con) 290
Martin Bardoe (UKIP) 287
Robert Poundall (BNP) 182

She died shortly before the local council elections and her Mackworth seat was not contested on 10 June.

With the two power blocks in the council now having an equal number of seats, both groups are vying for Mr Leeming's support.

Labour leader Chris Williamson said: "We've been in touch with Frank Leeming and pointed up areas where he and the UKIP party have expressed concern.

"I think it would be in the best interests of the city for Labour to be given the opportunity to take control of the cabinet."

Conservative leader Philip Hickson responded: "We've heard the usual knockabout stuff from Councillor Williamson, which bears little reality to the truth as usual.

"What we need is stability to restore the proper relationship between councillors and council officers."

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