Updated: Wednesday, 16th August 2017 @ 5:19pm

Ken Loach-supported Left Unity poll better than Tories in Wigan council ward... at just six months old

Ken Loach-supported Left Unity poll better than Tories in Wigan council ward... at just six months old

| By Dan Birch and Stefan Mackley

A small Wigan political party supported by film director Ken Loach has left the Conservatives trailing in their wake by finishing ahead of them in the council elections, despite only forming six months ago.

Left Unity is a party ‘with feminism, socialism and environmentalism at its heart’ and was formed to oppose capitalism by cleaner Janet Phillips.

Created in Wigan last November, the group only had seven members but are now 1,900 strong after Loach appealed for a new party on the left.

And despite being new to the election scene candidate Hazel Duffy managed to secure nearly 100 more votes than Tory candidate Jean Peet in Wigan West’s election.

The Left Unity member took 8.8% of the votes as Labour’s Phyllis Cullen and UKIP’s John Atherton secured 1726 and 718 votes respectively.

But Ms Phillips expected a ‘low vote’ for the party which is taking inspiration from the past.

“Left Unity is all about the spirit of 1945 when back then it was all about the NHS,” she said.

“There was no money but everyone was in it together.

“Today though house prices are going up and it’s the biggest class divide I have ever seen.”

The newly-formed party finished bottom in six other wards (Atherton, Atherleigh, Pemberton, Ince, Hindley, Aspull and New Springs Whelley).

The party held its first formal founding conference in London on November 30 and on March 29 they held their first national policy conference in Manchester, to discuss its campaigning priorities and key policies.

Image courtesy of BBC, with thanks