Elections results 2021: Tiger Patel wins seat in Blackburn

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altaf patelImage source, Blackburn Conservative Association
Image caption,
Conservative candidate Altaf Patel, whose campaign video went viral this week, has been elected as a councillor

A taxi driver who says he is known as the "BoJo of Blackburn" has gained a seat from Labour, although the party has remained in overall control of the town's council.

Altaf Patel - whose campaign video went viral - took Audley & Queen's Park ward by more than 100 votes.

Labour held on to power in Blackburn with Darwen, Chorley and Preston, but lost control of Rossendale.

The Conservatives won back overall control of Pendle.

The party gained one seat from Labour.

In Rossendale, there is no overall control after Labour lost two seats, reducing its total to 18, while the Conservatives, who gained two seats, now have 15.

Burnley Council also remains under no overall control, with Labour as the main party.

It lost three seats, while the Conservatives and Green Party each gained three.

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Note: This lookup covers national elections in Scotland and Wales, the Hartlepool by-election, as well as council and mayoral elections in England and Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections in England and Wales. There may be parish council elections or council by-elections where you are. Check your local council website for full details. Last updated: May 11, 2021, 12:35 GMT

Mr Patel, who is also known as Tiger Patel, went viral when he was filmed giving peace signs while standing behind X-rated graffiti in a children's playground in Blackburn.

"At the end of the day, when Tiger did the video, he didn't notice the fruity graffiti," Julian Arnold, chairman of the Blackburn Conservative Association, said.

"That's what's happening - these community facilities are being vandalised, are being wrecked, and the graffiti says it all - little kids play on there."

Mr Patel previously ran as an independent but said he was inspired to join the Conservatives after seeing speeches by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

"He's popular, and I'm also popular in Blackburn," he said. "Somebody said I was the BoJo of Blackburn."

The Tories also won the two seats that had become vacant on Blackpool Council after the deaths of their previous incumbents.

The party retained the Highfield ward, with candidate Bradley Mitchell receiving more than half the vote, while Julie Sloman won the Norbreck ward, which had previously been independent.

Analysis from the count in Pendle

By Mairead Smyth, BBC North West Tonight

Pendle was a top target for the Conservatives, who lost overall control here in 2019.

Boundary changes meant there was a reduction in the number of councillors elected to Pendle council from 49 to 33.

All of the parties were not certain how that would impact the vote but the Conservatives were keen to increase their numbers, given that they gained the highest number of seats in 2019 but not enough to take power, with Labour and Lib Dems forming a coalition.

Earlier in the count, Labour councillors were confident they had done enough on the doorstep to persuade voters - but the Conservatives won 18 seats, with 10 for Labour and five for the Lib Dems.

Cheers echoed around the sports hall as it was announced that the Conservatives had regained control.

In Hyndburn, the Tories won five wards and lost one with former party boss Peter Britcliffe taking over the the seat of his daughter Sara in St Andrew's ward Oswaldtwistle which she has vacated as she is now the MP.

They also gained councillors in neighbouring St Oswald's ward, Altham, Rishton, and Church, but Labour are still in firm control of the council.

Conservative group leader councillor Marlene Haworth said she was "absolutely delighted, ecstatic".

Councillor Miles Parkinson, leader of the council's ruling Labour group, said: "The Labour Party must engage with its working class voters, listen to them and change."

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