THE Conservative Party have gone from no seats in Rotherham to a whopping TWENTY, as Keir Starmer’s headache continues to morph into a migraine with every new election result announcement.
Labour dropped to 32 seats, with the Liberal Democrats and the Rotherham Democratic Party left with three each.
After a boundary review, council seats were reduced from 63 to 59, with the number of wards going up from 21 to 25.
Speaking at the count, Emily Barley, newly-elected Conservative councillor for the Hoober ward, said: “For decades Labour has taken communities in this area for granted, they’ve felt neglected and left behind.”
“This puts us in a strong position as main opposition, we’ll be focusing on scrutiny and really holding Labour to account and making sure the people of Rotherham are getting the services they deserve.”
John Healey, Labour MP for Wentworth and Dearne, called it a “really tough election” for the party.
He said: “It isn’t just about our worst general election result for nearly 100 years in 2019 but a long-term trend where there’s been too greater dislocation between the world of politics – including our national party – from many working people in areas like South Yorkshire.
“That’s the big task, to rebuilt the confidence of people in areas like Rotherham in Labour as a government of this country again.”
The Labour party in Rotherham has been mired in countless scandals for decades.
Last month, Jayne Senior, a Rotherham councillor well-known for her brave efforts to tackle child abuse in the area and for supplying information to The Times for a series of stories exposing failures by the authorities to effectively tackle grooming gangs in the town, resigned after claiming that she had been harassed and bullied.
“Today I resigned from the Labour Party” Cllr Senior said in her resignation statement. “Since shortly after my election as a Labour councillor in May 2016, I have been the subject of ceaseless harassment and intimidation” she said.
“There has been a systematic and longstanding campaign to undermine me as a person, as a Labour Councillor and as a long-standing member and supporter of the Labour party.
“Since August 2016, if not before, I have been the target of malicious and vexatious investigations and data breaches which have compromised my personal security and those of my family and have made us feel very unsafe.
“During this period of time I have repeatedly asked but received no support from the Leader of the Council and this has led me to feel that I have no alternative but to resign from the Labour Party.”