Longsight election results - pic by Miranda

Longsight: Workers Party of Britain take a shock seat from Labour amidst Gaza controversy 

Deputy leader of Manchester City Council Luthfur Rahman has lost his Longsight seat to Workers Party of Britain candidate Shahbaz Sarwar.

Councillor Sarwar won by a majority of 185 – with a total of 2444 votes to Labour’s 2259.

Voting for local council elections took place yesterday across Greater Manchester – which happens three years out of every four – and the counting has taken place today.

The election count at Manchester Central was delayed by more than three hours due to a discrepancy in the number of Mayoral and Councillor slips totted up during verification.

It wasn’t until around 4pm when declarations finally began getting announced despite verifications starting at 9am.

A big crowd had gathered around the controversial Longsight count and the announcement was highly anticipated.

Councillors and other members of the party seemed to be celebrating their win before the declaration was officially announced, leading to confusion regarding the results.

The newly elected councillor for Longsight was asked whether his win was down to his party’s stance on Gaza or local issues. 

Speaking to the MEN Sarwar said: “I think it’s 50-50. When you look at Gaza, the issues there, it needs to be resolved. 

“Labour needs to call for a permanent ceasefire. It needs to stand for humanity.

“And when you look here, the ward that I’m representing now has been neglected. It’s never worked on.”

Shortly after the declaration was announced Sarwar said Workers Party leader George Galloway was on his way to Manchester in light of the win.

Galloway made waves in the Rochdale by-election in February after winning his seat against Labour candidate Azhar Ali who lost support for his comments regarding the Hamas attack.

Today’s loss comes just days after Rahman was caught in a row outside a mosque in Longsight with fellow Labour councillor Abid Chohan.

As well as voting for local councillors, there was a mayoral election too which Andy Burnham won again. He has been the mayor of Greater Manchester since 2017.

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