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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 September 2007, 09:04 GMT 10:04 UK
BNP wins case for a vote recount
A BNP election van
Mr Rowe said he was acting on behalf of voters
The British National Party (BNP) has won its High Court battle for an election recount after concerns about the validity of a single vote.

The 3 May council election in Burnley was a tie between Labour and the BNP and the eventual Labour winner was called after drawing lots.

But BNP candidate John Rowe argued that a ballot paper that was spoilt was counted towards the Labour vote.

The recount will now be supervised by a senior court official.

Mr Rowe said he was acting on behalf of voters who had expressed disquiet about the outcome in the Rosegrove and Lowerhouse ward.

Jason Copple, the returning officer's barrister, denied any mistakes had been made in scrutinising the votes, but suggested there should be a search for one particular ballot paper which had been allowed in Mr Reynolds' favour.

'Very lucky'

The judge was told the vote in question had a diagonal mark in the left hand column against the number of the Labour candidate, rather than a cross in the right-hand column.

Mr Justice Irwin ordered a "thorough recount" instead of just "fishing" for the one suspect ballot paper.

Mr Rowe, 51, said after Wednesday's hearing: "I think it was a very fair judgment in what is an unprecedented case.

"This one vote for the Labour Party should never have been counted. I am not alleging it was a 'fix' - the Labour Party were very lucky.

"But now the ballot papers will have to be transported to London and gone through."

All ballot papers are required by law to be kept for a year after a local election.

The 4,605 ballot papers have been kept in a secure location on council premises.

Mixed poll results so far for BNP
04 May 07 |  UK Politics
BNP doubles number of councillors
05 May 06 |  UK Politics
Labour lose out in Burnley poll
05 May 06 |  Lancashire
Ex-BNP member backs anti-fascists
10 Mar 04 |  Lancashire

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