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Last Updated: Friday, 5 May 2006, 19:56 GMT 20:56 UK
Voting papers were counted twice
Sharon Ebanks
Sharon Ebanks allegedly came third in Kingstanding
A court will have to decide on the validity of a Birmingham election result after the acting chief executive said some votes were counted twice.

The BNP has officially won a seat in Kingstanding, but it was later announced this was not correct and it should have been a Labour win.

Stephen Hughes said in collating the paper work it was clear an error had been made and some votes counted twice.

The only way for it to be resolved was for a candidate to take it to court.

The declaration for the Kingstanding ward had Sharon Ebanks (BNP) and Zoe Hopkins (Lab) elected.

Legal advice

Mr Hughes said the recalculation indicated Zoe Hopkins (Lab) and Catharine Grundy (Lab) should have been elected.

"I have taken legal advice on the matter. This indicates the only way in which this result can be corrected is for one of the candidates to raise a petition to the courts."

In the declared result a total of 12,329 votes were recorded.

But, as there were only 4,981 ballot papers, with two votes possible on each, the maximum number of votes which could have been cast is 9,962.

Ms Ebanks was declared with a total of 2,310 votes when in the recount she got 1,329.

COUNCIL ELECTION PAGES

Ms Ebanks said: "We saw the strength of our votes on the table.

"They announced that the BNP had won by about 300 votes.

"I think I have won and we will be speaking to the legal department of the British National Party about this."

Elsewhere across the city, the Respect party's Salma Yaquoob took a Sparkbrook seat from Labour, to record its first win in the city.

The Conservatives gained one net seat, while Labour lost four, and so both parties now have 41 seats. Lib Dems were unchanged at 33 seats.

Before the election, Labour was the largest party although Tories and Lib Dems effectively ran the hung council together.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Watch the reaction to the legal challenge in Birmingham



SEE ALSO:
BNP take seats in West Midlands
05 May 06 |  West Midlands
Labour lose control of Redditch
05 May 06 |  Hereford/Worcs
Tory gains across city and county
05 May 06 |  Coventry/Warwickshire
Stoke leader leaves Labour party
05 May 06 |  Staffordshire
Tories in control of county town
04 May 06 |  Shropshire


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