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Tory triumph in former Labour stronghold

PUBLISHED: 11:38 25 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:14 07 September 2010

FORMER Blur drummer Dave Rowntree took a poll thumping at the Church Street by-election last night. He was beaten into second place by Conservative candidate Mehfuz Ahmed despite the Church Street ward being a traditional Labour stronghold. Mr Ahmed gaine

FORMER Blur drummer Dave Rowntree took a poll thumping at the Church Street by-election last night.

He was beaten into second place by Conservative candidate Mehfuz Ahmed despite the Church Street ward being a traditional Labour stronghold.

Mr Ahmed gained 955 votes, Mr Rowntree 652 and the Liberal Democrat candidate Martin Thompson gained 176 after a 24 per cent turnout.

The winning candidate said: "I am absolutely delighted - it is a fantastic result. I was fairly optimistic because I am a local guy - I have lived here for 30 years and even though I just moved to Brent my friends and family are all here.

"I am really pleased. This is a solid Labour seat and it has been since the ward was created in the 60s.

"But I am a people's man and I have helped many people over the time I have lived here so I am delighted.

"This is similar to what is going on around the country but it is also because the Church Street ward is one of the most deprived wards in the country and people are very concerned about the local issues.

"For example crime and kids hanging around has not been tackled - this is where the Labour councillors have failed because nothing has been done.

"The Conservatives are running a fantastic borough and I was the best person locally so I am very pleased.

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