Page last updated at 12:41 GMT, Friday, 19 February 2010

Labour seal victory in Leeds by-election

Gerry Harper
Gerry Harper previously served on the council for 10 years

Labour has captured a seat from the Liberal Democrats in a council by-election in Leeds with 15 weeks at most to go before the general election.

Gerry Harper took the Hyde Park and Woodhouse seat with 1,054 votes, 383 votes ahead of the Lib Dems.

Thursday's election followed the sudden death of Lib Dem councillor Kabeer Hussain in December.

The composition of Leeds City Council is now Lab 44, Lib Dem 23, Con 23, Morley Borough Ind 5, Green 3, BNP 1.

The vote represented a 9.7% swing from Lib Dems to Labour on a turnout of 15%.

Mr Harper was previously a councillor for the area between 1994 and 2004.

Leeds Labour Group leader Keith Wakefield said: "I am delighted that we have managed to gain another seat and that Gerry Harper, a councillor with a great deal of experience, is back on the the council."

Another of the ward's councillors, former Lib Dem Linda Rhodes-Clayton, has switched to Labour, meaning the party now holds two of the area's three seats.

Full result: Lab 1,054, Lib Dem 671, Con 188, Ind 150, Green 140. (May 2008 - Lib Dem 1,206, Lab 1,142, Green 299, Con 219, BNP 102).

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