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Last Updated: Friday, 4 May 2007, 16:14 GMT 17:14 UK
Blur star fails in election bid
Dave Rowntree (centre) with fellow Blur members at the Brits in 1996
Blur had been supporters of New Labour before the 1997 election
Blur drummer Dave Rowntree has failed in his first bid for political office, coming third in a London by-election.

He stood in the Marylebone High Street ward of Westminster council, but lost to Conservative Ian Rowley and Liberal Democrat Stuart Bonar.

He had said it was "fun" standing for Labour in the English local elections.

Mr Rowntree told the BBC he had been campaigning on local issues, but admitted he had faced a tough fight to get on to the Tory-held council.

Blur frontman Damon Albarn was among the musicians to back New Labour before 1997 - but has since become an outspoken critic of the government.

But in an interview on the YouTube website, Mr Rowntree described himself as a "long-standing member of the Labour Party", who was chairman of his local branch.

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The former computer engineer, who also owns an animation company, said becoming a Labour candidate had "happened quite quickly" after attending a meeting and being voted in as chairman.

"It's been really good fun though, and I have really enjoyed it and I have learnt a lot," he said. "I can imagine people looking at me and thinking: 'Really? Why now?'"

But he said he had fought for local issues, including old people's homes and pedestrian crossings.

"I think this is where Labour really scores," he added.

When asked about his band mate's rejection of Labour, he said: "You can disagree with someone and still be their friend."

London was among the few areas across England which did not have local authority elections on 3 May.

Mr Rowntree was standing in a ward which covers one of central London's most exclusive shopping districts - Marylebone High Street.



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