Harlow: Labour takes seat from Tories in by-election

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Harlow Council based at civic centreImage source, LDRS
Image caption,
The Bush Fair ward on Harlow Council was taken by Labour's Kay Morrison from Conservative candidate Emma Ghaffari

The Conservative Party has lost a by-election triggered after a councillor stepped down amid claims he shared "racist" comments on social media.

The Bush Fair ward on Harlow Council, in Essex, was taken by Labour's Kay Morrison from Conservative candidate Emma Ghaffari.

Tory Marco Lorenzini had been elected for the seat in May but was dropped by his local party a few days later.

Ms Morrison said she would "never take voters for granted".

She won Thursday's by-election with 594 votes compared to Ms Ghaffari's 482 votes.

The Green Party's Jennifer Steadman got 109 votes and Nicholas Taylor from the Harlow Alliance Party got 76 votes. Turnout was 22.97%

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

In a tweet, Ms Morrison thanked voters and said: "It took hard slog and plenty of doorstep conversations, but we made it.

"Harlow Labour's indefatigable campaigning got me elected last night. Voters decided to give me a chance.

"I'll work for Bush Fair. I'll never take you for granted."

Image caption,
Marco Lorenzini, centre, had won the Bush Fair seat in Harlow, Essex, by four votes on 5 May

Last month, Marco Lorenzini won his seat by four votes ahead of Ms Morrison, as the Tories kept control of the district council.

But it later came to light that a social media account linked to him retweeted what have been described as racist comments.

Essex Police concluded that the tweets were very unpleasant but did not amount to a hate crime.

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