Bedford Labour Group speaks about local election

Group claims year-round 'hard work' was behind its local election gains last week
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The Bedford Borough Labour Group has claimed year-round ‘hard work’ was behind its local election gains last week.

By gaining three councillors Labour has become the largest group in the borough.

“Labour works hard all year round, every year and not just at election time and achieving fourteen wins has reflected that,” a spokesperson said.

By gaining three councillors Labour has become the largest group in the borough.By gaining three councillors Labour has become the largest group in the borough.
By gaining three councillors Labour has become the largest group in the borough.

“This is why all our returning councillors have a strong majority.

“We set out with the goal to win extra seats and make Labour the largest party on the Council and we did just that with three excellent gains in Cauldwell, Queen’s Park and Kingsbrook as well as retaining all our current councillors.

“Two of our three gains (in Queen’s Park & Cauldwell) are people who have been working alongside the established councillors for years as part of their Labour Action Teams.

“And therefore [they] are known by residents as already working hard for them.

“Similarly in Kingsbrook, where Ralley Rahman will continue to work hard to represent residents there and repay their faith in her

The Local Democracy Reporting Service asked the Labour Group if tactical voting split the anti-Conservative vote between its mayoral candidate, Saqhib Ali, and Dave Hodgson (LibDem).

“The biggest difference with this Mayoral Election was the Conservative government changing the voting system from a first and second preference to a regressive first past the post one,” the spokesperson said.

“It is impossible to say which way the thousands of Labour and Green party voters would have voted as a second preference if they had that opportunity.

“The Labour Party believes everyone should have the opportunity to vote Labour, wherever they live.

“Nationally there has been a big swing to Labour and this was reflected in the number of residents voting for Saqhib,” they said.

In 2019, Jenni Jackson came third in the first preference vote with 9,677. This year, Saqhib Ali received 11,568 votes.

“The Group will continue to work constructively for the benefit of all residents of the borough, and will hold the new Tory administration to account to ensure all decisions are in the best interests of all of the population,” the spokesperson added.

“People want to see politicians pushing for the best outcomes, not wasting time political point scoring."