Many MPs voted for military intervention in Iraq, at the behest of Tony Blair, and have since changed their minds on the basis of what has happened since.
I opposed it at the time, largely because of the shifting reasoning. We were told that it was about support for terrorism. When that couldn’t be proved, we were then informed that it was about weapons of mass destruction. Finally, we were given the reasoning that it would help the Iraqi people.
But without a credible plan, there was no guarantee that it would actually help anyone. The rise of ISIS proved much worse than I, or many of us, could ever have imagined.
If the reason for war keeps changing, then it begins to look like an excuse: a government which was desperate to give any rationale it could think of for going to war, irrespective of evidence. War is not something which should ever be entered into lightly, or without due consideration and contemplation. It is the most solemn duty of any government, under the leadership of any Prime Minister. For that reason I opposed it.
Now the Chilcot report has been published, we know more than we did. It will take time to absorb such a lengthy, detailed and nuanced report. The report is hugely critical of the Blair administration, for example:
“Military action at that time was not a last resort.”
“The UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted.”
It also questions how the legal basis for war was decided.
Blair told Chilcot that much could be seen only now with hindsight; Chilcot blew this out of the water: “We do not agree that hindsight is required. The risks of internal strife in Iraq, active Iranian pursuit of its interests, regional instability, and Al Qaida activity in Iraq, were each explicitly identified before the invasion.”
The comments in the Chilcot report go beyond what I was aware of at the time; if the evidence available to the Blair government was even more overwhelming at the time, how could Blair and his cabinet possibly have gone along with it?
Robin Cook did not. He resigned from the Cabinet, being unable to accept collective responsibility on the war. His comments at the time were telling:
“On Iraq, I believe that the prevailing mood of the British people is sound. They do not doubt that Saddam is a brutal dictator, but they are not persuaded that he is a clear and present danger to Britain. They want inspections to be given a chance, and they suspect that they are being pushed too quickly into conflict by a US Administration with an agenda of its own. Above all, they are uneasy at Britain going out on a limb on a military adventure without a broader international coalition and against the hostility of many of our traditional allies.”
Why didn’t more of the Labour Cabinet, who were in full possession of all the facts, speak out at the time?
There will be many questions that should be asked in the coming days but one will be pivotal. How did Labour get things so badly wrong, and how can we prevent war ever being entered into so lightly by a British government again?
North East UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott said, “This is a tremendous day for Britain and for our democratic process.
“The people of the North East have led the way in voting clearly for Brexit. The British people as a whole have spoken and we have regained control over our own destiny.
“Now the hard work begins: we must now deal with our European colleagues as friends and neighbours and negotiate a deal for the future which allows us to trade freely with the EU, control our borders and work together for our mutual benefit.
“I am immensely proud of everyone who worked tirelessly to achieve this referendum result. We must now be vigilant to ensure that our government sticks to its promises and respects the result of the referendum.”
The North East is a region with a proud manufacturing tradition. A region which makes things and sells them, a region of agriculture and of fisheries.
Today it’s the region with the highest unemployment in the land. Not all of this is the European Union’s fault, but an awful lot is. It’s the European Union that has made life unnecessarily difficult for our farmers, it’s the European Union that has allowed foreign-flagged vessels to overfish our waters and expects us to be grateful, and it’s the European Union that has made it so difficult for us to protect our manufacturing and steel industry.
How will a vote to leave change things? Firstly, we’ll be better off financially. Despite some ridiculous fudging of figures from Remain to claim that we’re net recipients from the EU (it wasn’t true when the claim originated in 2012, we’ve got a worse deal now than we had then, and after EU expansion we’ll get an even smaller share of the pie) the fact remains that we can replace every penny of EU funding and still have £9-£10 billion a year left in change. By doing that funding ourselves directly we’ll cut out the middleman and be able to ensure that money goes to projects which we know will actually achieve the stated aims.
Secondly, we’ll regain control of our fisheries and our 200-mile limit. The North East is a coastal region, more dependent upon fishing than most. That means more jobs.
Thirdly, we’ll subsidise our farmers in a more efficient way than the EU’s awful Common Agricultural Policy. Less bureaucracy for farmers, more time spent farming, and a fair system to protect them. That also means more jobs.
Fourthly, our manufacturing base can recover. We’ll have the power to directly deal with Chinese steel dumping and save what’s left of our steel industry. We’ll be able to deregulate and make manufacturing more competitive. We’ll regain the power to sign our own trade deals, which will again help manufacturing. The Remain campaign threatens us with a weaker pound if we vote for Brexit. I’m not sure there’ll be a long-term effect – but if there is, that’ll make our exports even more competitive! That’s even more jobs.
We’ll get the same things as the rest of the country too: our democracy and independence back, and the control over our own borders.
So here’s the question: will you believe Remain’s Project Fear over Nissan (despite the fact that Paul Wilcox of Nissan Europe stated five times on the Today Programme that their commitment to the UK is long-term irrespective of the referendum result)? Or will you listen instead to businesses like JCB and innovative employers like Dyson, which support Brexit?
JK Rowling is wrong about Brexit. But that’s okay; I’m often wrong when it comes to fiction. I couldn’t tell my Voldemort from my Dumbledore and I’m only barely au fait with the notion of a sorting hat. Since 2014 though, I’ve spent time in the European Parliament. I know enough about the European Union to know whether it’s a hero, a villain or a monster. Let me take you through JK Rowling’s piece on Brexit, line by line; there may yet be a plot twist that even she hasn’t considered.
I’m not an expert on much, but I do know how to create a monster.
All enduring fictional bad guys encapsulate primal terrors and share certain traits. Invincible to the point of immortality, they commit atrocities without conscience and cannot be defeated by the ordinary man or by conventional means. Hannibal Lecter, Big Brother, and Lord Voldemort: all are simultaneously inhuman and superhuman and that is what frightens us most.
As this country has entered what will come to be seen as one of the most divisive and bitter political campaigns ever waged within its borders, I’ve thought a lot about the rules for creating villains. We are being asked whether we wish to remain part of the European Union and both sides of this campaign have been telling us stories. I don’t mean that in the sense of lying (although lies have certainly been told). I mean that they are appealing to us through our universal need to make sense of the world by storytelling and that they have not been afraid to conjure monsters calculated to stir up our deepest fears.
This is nothing new, of course. All political campaigns tell stories. They cast themselves as our champions, flatter us with tales of who we are or could be, sell us rose-tinted memories of the past and draw frightening pictures of the perils that lie ahead if we pick the wrong heroes. Nevertheless, the tales we have been told during this referendum have been uglier than any I can remember in my lifetime. If anyone has enjoyed this referendum, it can only be those hoping for greater personal power at the end of it.
There have certainly been positive stories told; the narrative of a Britain empowered to negotiate our own trade deals, to take a step out from lurking within the shadows to regain our rightful crown (okay, perhaps ‘regain our vote at the World Trade Organisation’ but that’s not quite so poetic). It’s a story of Britain singing a new song, of brave new adventures and brand new opportunities in a big world.
Dystopian stories sell better than utopian ones. Sadly, both Remain and Leave have felt compelled to speak of monsters rather than a Brave New World. JK Rowling makes fair criticism of both sides, however much we’ve sadly been pushed into it.
The Leave campaign’s narrative has descended to this: we are being exploited or cheated by the EU. If we can’t see that Britain will only regain superpower status if we leave the union, we must be unpatriotic, cowardly or part of a corrupt elite.
Remainers have mostly countered, not with an optimistic vision of the union, but with bleak facts: money is pouring out of the country at the prospect of the Brexit and experts in every field think that leaving the EU will be a catastrophic mistake. Be afraid, says Remain, turn back while there’s still time: you are hurtling towards a precipice.
And so it begins. The hero and villain are revealed. A clear choice: Leave scaremongering versus Remain facts. Is this really the case? I could tell another tale, a tale of the people being threatened with World War 3 or ‘the end of Western political civilisation as we know it’. A tale of threats of food shortages and diseases, and most definitely no hosting of a World Cup. Not ever. Is that bleak tale of Britain’s future after Brexit, as portrayed by Remain, not a narrative even more offensive to the truth? Can it be glossed over so easily as ‘facts’?
However, Remain are finding many ears closed to their grim prognostications. The economic crash of 2008 left a pervasive feeling in its wake that financial institutions are not to be trusted. ‘The establishment’ has become a term of blanket abuse. We live in a cynical and insecure age. Trust in disinterested sources has been shaken, while popular culture glorifies the hunch and the gut feeling. In America, they call this ‘post-truth politics’. Forget the facts, feel the fury.
The ‘Leave’ campaign is benefiting from our widespread cynicism and, unsurprisingly, fanning it. ‘People in this country have had enough of experts,’ Michael Gove declared recently on television. So what if the Financial Times, the markets and the heads of the Bank of England and the International Monetary Fund agree that Brexit will do severe damage to the economy? They’re just scaremongering, says Gove. Leaders of both campaigns want us frightened only by monsters of their choosing.
Yet I could point to experts in every field on the Leave side too. Show me an Archbishop of Canterbury, and I’ll show you a previous Archbishop of Canterbury who’s on my side. Show me world leaders and I’ll show you those who have left office who – unencumbered by political necessity – sing another song. Or, perhaps, I’ll show you politicians in Switzerland and Iceland or Trade Unionists in Norway who call out to us and tell us that the water is safe if we’ll take the plunge. Show me a security expert; I’ll show you the former head of MI6, the former head of counter-terrorism at New Scotland Yard or the former head of Interpol.
You can show me a Goldman Sachs, desperate to continue lobbying the European Commission for more legislation at the expense of the ‘little guy’ – our SMEs, but if you do I’ll counter with the State Bank of India which endorses Brexit precisely because it would improve trade relations between India and the United Kingdom.
If all experts agreed on everything, there’d be no requirement for stories. The Remain experts, though, almost universally suffer from a fatal flaw in their characters. Most endorsed British membership of the Exchange Rate Mechanism in the early 1990s; when we finally crashed out of that we saw economic consequences such as the doubling of unemployment or the most businesses going bust ever. Some, like Nigel Lawson, learned the lesson of that fateful mistake. Most others ploughed on regardless and instructed us that we must join the euro. The country didn’t listen; the country was right and they were wrong.
Those same experts tried to persuade Norway and Switzerland not to join the European Union. They failed; Norway and Switzerland prospered. Now they tell us to Remain, recycling the arguments they used in Norway. Norway has a bad deal with the European Union; we could do better, but even Norway prospers outside.
For some on the Leave side, the EU is not merely imperfect, or in need of improvement: it is villainous. The union that was born out of a collective desire never to see another war in Europe is depicted as an Orwellian monolith, Big Brotheresque in its desire for control.
The union may have been born out of a desire for peace, but that does not mean it played a part in achieving peace. It did not even exist during the years of the greatest threat of war. It had no part in stopping the juggernaut of the Soviet Union; that was left to NATO. It has spectacularly mishandled crises from Yugoslavia to the Ukraine and made conflict worse rather than better. Nor have two functioning democracies ever really gone to war with one another. The suggestion that the European Union deserves credit for keeping the peace is analogous to giving Don Quixote credit for saving Lady Dulcinea from windmills.
Widespread confusion about what the EU does and does not do has been helpful to Leave. The results of a recent IPSOS/Mori poll reveal the depth of our ignorance. We dramatically underestimate the amount of international investment we receive from the EU, while grossly overestimating how many laws it makes, how much it spends on administration and the number of EU immigrants in this country. In some cases our guesses were out by factors of ten.
This cannot be a story any more; it’s become technical. International investment from EU companies will continue post-Brexit; investment from the European Union itself comes out of the membership fee which we pay to the European Union. We’re back to the £20/£10 analogy: I wouldn’t pay £20 to receive a £10 Marks & Spencers voucher and I wouldn’t pay the EU £350 million a week to get back £85 million of EU funding and £90 million of rebate.
I rather suspect that the public is correct about how many laws are made in Brussels: I’ve gone into some detail on it here:
As for EU immigrants, it’s a valid point that people do underestimate, probably because when spontaneously asked by a polling company people conflate EU immigrants with non-EU immigrants. That says more about the limitations of opinion polling than anything to do with the referendum.
Immigrants, of course, have been at the centre of some of the nastiest arguments of this campaign.
No, they have not. This is conflating ‘blaming immigrants’ with ‘should the UK have the power to control immigration?’.
Reasoned discussion has proven nigh on impossible. Remainers insist that we retain border control and that we need immigration, not least because so many of our medical staff running the NHS come from abroad.
That’s odd, because Leave campaigners also say that we need immigration – for precisely the same reasons. The distinction should be abundantly clear. Leave state that immigration from the EU should be controlled, just as it is from non-EU countries. Remain state that immigration should be controlled from non-EU countries but uncontrolled from EU countries. That distinction is unpalatable to many in the Remain campaign, so they simply refuse to acknowledge its existence.
They insist that our defensive capability and our anti-terrorist strategies are enhanced by membership of the EU.
They may well do precisely that, but it does not make the argument true. Indeed, the UK is one of the world leaders in this field. Our main avenues for co-operation are through the Five Eyes Network (not EU) and we’re a long way ahead of most of the European Union. Co-operation outside the EU remains possible.
Their arguments have proven only partially successful, because Leave has been busy threatening us with another montster: a tsunami of faceless foreigners heading for our shores, among them rapists and terrorists.
Let’s get away from hyperbole and look at the facts. We control immigration from 167 countries around the world but we have an open door from 27 countries. Those from the 27 can come to the UK irrespective of whether or not they have criminal record. A rapist may well be entitled to come in; a terrorist may legally be stopped if we can show that they’re an imminent danger to the UK.
If anyone were to sit down with a blank piece of paper and devise the best immigration system for the UK, would they really come up with such a divisive approach? Would they discriminate between the 27 and the 167? Or would they have a level playing field for both? I know which I believe is fair and which I believe is discriminatory. Defence of the current system really is Alice in Wonderland stuff.
It is dishonourable to suggest, as many have, that Leavers are all racists and bigots: they aren’t and it is shameful to suggest that they are.
It would indeed be absurd to suggest that (roughly) 50% of the population are racists and bigots.
Nevertheless, it is equally nonsensical to pretend that racists and bigots aren’t flocking to the ‘Leave’ cause, or that they aren’t, in some instances, directing it.
What am I to do here? Do I point out the examples of bigotry that I see from Remain campaigners? Do I point out some of the horrific tactics that have been used by some on the Remain side? Or would that be to stoop to the same level of debate? I choose not to.
For some of us, that fact alone is enough to give us pause. The picture of Nigel Farage standing in front of a poster showing a winding line of Syrian refugees captioned ‘Breaking Point’ is, as countless people have already pointed out, an almost exact duplicate of propaganda used by the Nazis.
Godwin’s Law applies, it would seem. There is no sensible discussion that can be held without someone bringing up Hitler. Is there not, perhaps, some difference between Nigel Farage – who was one of the first to say that the UK should accept some Syrian refugees – and the brutal dictator who butchered millions of people? I remind JK Rowling that she began her article by blaming the Leave campaign who have not ‘been afraid to conjure monsters calculated to stir up our deepest fears’ – yet this is precisely what she now does, against Leave, in the same article.
Nationalism is on the march across the Western world, feeding upon the terrors it seeks to inflame.
If you truly despise nationalism, do you truly want to remain part of a European Union throughout which extremism is on the march?
Every nationalist will tell you that their nationalism is different, a natural, benign response to their country’s own particular needs and challenges, nothing to do with that nationalism of yore that ended up killing people, yet every academic study of nationalism has revealed the same key features. Your country is the greatest in the world, the nationalist cries, and anyone who isn’t chanting that is a traitor!
Ah! And yet, nobody in the Leave campaign is suggesting anything of the sort. There is only one person who has used language like ‘traitor’ and that is the person who murdered Jo Cox MP. What we should actually be doing is having a grown-up conversation about how to improve mental health services in this country.
Drape yourself in the flag: doesn’t that make you feel bigger and more powerful? Finding the present scary? We’ve got a golden past to sell you, a mythical age that will dawn again once we’ve got rid of the Mexicans/left the EU/annexed Ukraine! Now place your trust in our simplistic slogans and enjoy your rage aginst the Other!
I don’t really like to interrupt a good rant but we’re still in Quixotic territory. It’s the logical fallacy of ‘poisoning the wells’ – terribly good writing, but terribly bad as an actual argument.
Look towards the Republican Party in America and shudder. ‘Make America Great Again!’ cries a man who is fascist in all but name. His stubby fingers are currently within horrifyingly close reach of America’s nuclear codes. He achieved this pre-eminence by proposing crude, unworkable solutions to complex threats. Terrorism? ‘Ban all Muslims!’ Immigration? ‘Build a wall!’ He has the temperament of an unstable nightclub bouncer, jeers at violence when it breaks out at his rallies and wears his disdain for women and minorities with pride. God help America. God help us all.
I despise Donald Trump as much as the next man, but I fear this rant has lost its way…
Donald Trump supports the break up of the EU.
And there we have it, folks. Donald Trump is a bad person; Donald Trump wants X; therefore, X is a bad idea. This is the logical fallacy of ‘guilt by association’.
The inheritor of a family fortune, he has never needed to cooperate or collaborate and he appears incapable of understanding complexity or nuance. Of foreign leaders or would-be leaders, Trump is joined only by Vladimir Putin and Marine le Pen in urging Brexit upon the UK.
More ‘guilt by association’ but it’s wrong: Vladimir Putin is not a supporter of Brexit.
Other than those three, there is no major political leader who isn’t begging Britain to stay put, for the political and economic stability of Europe and the wider world.
Actually the majority of political leaders across the globe are doing what they should be doing: keeping their mouths well and truly closed and recognising that this is a decision for the British people, not them. If New Zealand were having a referendum on political union with Australia, I would expect our PM to keep his mouth shut and allow New Zealand to make their own decisions.
The small minority who have interfered in our referendum appear to be so immersed in the Number Ten script that even Barack Obama’s script appeared to have been written by them, full of British English rather than American.
Whilst Icelandic, Swiss, Australian, New Zealand, and many other politicians have wished us the best if we leave, they have not told us what to do.
I’m the mongrel product of this European continent and I’m an internationalist. I was raised by a Francophile mother whose family was proud of their part-French heritage. My French ancestors lived in the troubled province of Alsace, which spent hundreds of years being alternately annexed by Germany and France. I’ve lived in France and Portugal and I’ve studied French and German. I love having these mulitple allegiances and cultural associations. They make me stronger, not weaker. I glory in association with the cultures of my fellow Europeans.
Wow! I’m with you here! I love other European cultures, I speak Spanish and I’m trying to learn French because I’m spending so much time in France and Belgium. Sadly, though, some people fail to spot that there is a huge gulf between cultural association (a good thing) and political union (which is what we’re actually debating).
My values are not contained or proscribed by borders. The absence of a visa when I cross the channel has symbolic value to me. I might not be in my house, but I’m still in my hometown.
Now we’re on to the logical fallacy known as the ‘straw man’ argument. British passport holders can visit 173 countries worldwide without a visa. No-one is seriously suggesting that visa-free access between the UK and the EU would not continue as part of negotiation.
The ‘Leave’ campaign is selling itself as the courageous option. Take a leap of faith, they say. Step off the cliff and let the flag catch you! With the arrogance of a bunch of mini-Trumps they swear that everything will be glorious as long as we disregard the experts and listen to them.
Ah, the experts! There are experts on both sides. This time, we’re on to the logical fallacy of ‘appeal to authority’ though.
Embrace the rage and trust your guts, which Nigel Farage undoubtedly hopes contain a suspicion of brown people, an unthinking jingoism and an indifference to the warnings of history.
Sadly we’ve moved from genuine debate to plain offensiveness. ‘A suspicion of brown people’? What an utterly disgusting, irresponsible smear! Does JK Rowling not understand how serious an accusation racism is? Yet she would throw it around like confetti in order to try to win an argument.
And by the way, Remain is trying to simultaneously claim that Remain is the brave choice AND the safe choice.
For many of our countrymen, I suspect a ‘Leave’ vote will be a simple howl of frustration, a giant two fingers to the spectres that haunt our imaginations, against terrorism that seems almost supernatural in its ability to hit us in our most vulnerable places, against huge corporations who refuse to meet their basic moral obligations, against bureaucracy we are afraid will strangle us, against shadowy elites we are told are working to do us down. How easy to project all of this onto the EU, how satisfying to turn this referendum into a protest against everything about modern life that scares us, whether rationally or not. Yet how can a retreat into selfish and insecure individualism be the right response when Europe faces genuine threats, when the bonds that tie us are so powerful, when we have come so far together?
Some of the above is justifiable concern about the EU; some is not about the EU at all. There is a concern, when there are more lobbyists in Brussels than even in Washington DC, that there is a huge lobbying influence. Yet once more no-one is suggesting a ‘retreat into selfish and insecure individualism’.
How can we hope to conquer the enormous challenges of terrorism and climate change without cooperation and collaboration?
This is becoming tedious; nobody is opposing co-operation and collaboration. Yet on a global level, our counter-terrorism efforts are linked more with non-EU countries than EU ones. In the case of climate change, that is a global issue: will it make any difference whether the EU consists of 27 countries or 28? Indeed, the EU effectively outsources its pollution to third countries such as India. If you’re concerned about climate change, the EU is not the solution.
No, I don’t think the EU’s perfect. Which human union couldn’t use improvement? From friendships, marriages, families and workplaces, all the way up to political parties, governments and cultural economic unions, there will be flaws and disagreements. Because we’re human. Because we’re imperfect. So why bother building these ambitious alliances and communities? Because they protect and empower us, because they enable bigger and better achievements than we can manage alone. We should be proud of our enduring desire to join together, seeking better, safer, fairer lives, for ourselves and for millions of others.
Not all friendships or marriages succeed. If a relationship is not working out, it’s perfectly reasonable to seek an amicable end to that relationship or to replace that relationship with a different kind. A couple who aren’t right for each other romantically may well be best of friends if only they weren’t living together.
But the European Union has no realistic mechanism for change; its flaws and imperfections cannot be resolved so easily. We’ve tried for 43 years to reform it, and if we’re honest we’ve failed. If we can’t even resolve the ‘travelling circus’ whereby the entire Parliament packs its bags and moves backwards and forwards between Brussels and Strasbourg once a month, what hope do we have of meaningful reform?
The research demonstrates that we don’t know what we’ve got. Ignorant of what it gives us, we take the benefits of EU membership for granted.
It’s incredibly difficult to find ‘benefits’ of EU membership which we couldn’t get outside the EU.
In a few days’ time, we’ll have to decide which monsters we believe are real and which illusory. Everything is going to come down to whose story we like best, but at the moment we vote, we stop being readers and become authors. The ending of this story, whether happy or not, will be written by us.
At last, we can agree on something! Perhaps this story may well have a fairytale ending after all.
|Sunderland||Copt Hill||Reginald Coulson||847||2nd|
|Sunderland||Shiney Row||Richard Elvin||847||2nd|
|Sunderland||St Chad`s||Joshua Green||448||3rd|
|Sunderland||Washington West||Lynn O`Neil||551||2nd|
|Hartlepool||Burn Valley||Evelyn Leck||562||2nd|
|Hartlepool||De Bruce||Alan Hind||491||2nd|
|Hartlepool||Fens and Rossmere||Bob Buchan||1191||1st|
|Hartlepool||Foggy Furze||Darren Paul Price||748||2nd|
|Hartlepool||Headland and Harbour||Shane Moore||619||1st|
|Hartlepool||Manor House||Pam Gooderham||529||2nd|
|Hartlepool||Rural West||Chris Cassidy||531||2nd|
|South Tyneside||Beacon and Bents||John Stephen Clarke||490||2nd|
|South Tyneside||Biddick and All Saints||Kenneth William Taylor||406||2nd|
|South Tyneside||Harton||Malcolm Pratt||538||2nd|
|South Tyneside||Horsley Hill||Anita Daphne Campbell||521||2nd|
|South Tyneside||Simonside and Rekendyke||John Howard Wright||485||2nd|
|South Tyneside||West Park||Stephen Dagg||560||2nd|
|South Tyneside||Westoe||Henry Pearce||642||2nd|
|South Tyneside||Whitburn and Marsden||Charles McKenzie-Smith||498||2nd|
|South Tyneside||Whiteleas||Kathleen Edna Wright||617||2nd|
|Newcastle||Benwell and Scotswood||Mark Bickerton||1041||2nd|
|Newcastle||East Gosforth||Peter Dunne||142||5th|
|Newcastle||North Heaton||Elisabeth Edmundson||218||4th|
|Newcastle||North Jesmond||Mark Lewis||62||5th|
|Newcastle||South Heaton||Max Peacock||156||3rd|
|Newcastle||South Jesmond||James Askwith||133||5th|
|Newcastle||West Gosforth||Paul Coulthard||104||5th|
|Gateshead||Chopwell & Rowlands Gill||Elaine O’Neill||397||2nd|
|Gateshead||Crawcrook and Greenside||David Fereday||472||2nd|
|Gateshead||Dunston and Teams||Josh Knotts||339||2nd|
|Gateshead||Dunston Hill and Whickham East||Andrea Wright||293||3rd|
|Gateshead||Lobley Hill and Bensham||Dot Lynch||420||2nd|
|Gateshead||Low Fell||Miriam Evans||294||3rd|
|Gateshead||Ryton Crookhill and Stella||Alan Craig||467||3rd|
|Gateshead||Wickham North||William Lynch||264||3rd|
|Gateshead||Wickham South & Sunnyside||Trevor Ashworth||290||3rd|
|Gateshead||Windynook and Whitehills||Mark Douglas||494||2nd|
|Gateshead||Winlaton & High Spen||Ray Tolley||632||2nd|
|North Tyneside||Benton||Maureen Gallon||304||4th|
|North Tyneside||Chirton||Norman Morse||581||2nd|
|North Tyneside||Collingwood||Sylvia Simpson||546||3rd|
|North Tyneside||Cullercoats||Phyl Masters||375||3rd|
|North Tyneside||Howdon||Robert Mather||446||2nd|
|North Tyneside||Killingworth||Brian Needham||459||2nd|
|North Tyneside||Monkseaton North||Stephen Borlos||245||3rd|
|North Tyneside||Monkseaton South||Gary Legg||444||3rd|
|North Tyneside||Preston||Sheena Patterson||347||3rd|
|North Tyneside||Riverside||Neil Mather||470||2nd|
|North Tyneside||St. Mary’s||Hugh Jackson||339||3rd|
|North Tyneside||Tynemouth||Henry Marshall||301||4th|
|North Tyneside||Valley||Elizabeth Borlos||476||2nd|
|North Tyneside||Wallsend||Jane McEachan||275||3rd|
|North Tyneside||Weetslade||Irene Davidson||608||3rd|
|North Tyneside||Whitley Bay||David Cory||242||3rd|
Congratulations to our new UKIP Hartlepool Councillors John Tennant, Bob Buchan and Shane Moore!
Our strong team of five Councillors will now form the official opposition on Hartlepool Council.
The newly elected Councillors in Hartlepool have made the following statements:
Shane Moore: “I am immensely proud to have been elected to represent Headland and Harbour and pay tribute to my family and friends who have helped me over the line. UKIP is on the rise in Hartlepool and we intend to lead by example, creating an effective opposition to the unpopular Labour group.”
Bob Buchan “I’d like to thank the people of Fens and Rossmere for giving me a strong mandate, their confidence will be honoured and I shall get on with the job of being a good, trustworthy and effective Councillor”
John Tennant ” I’m hugely honoured to be elected on May 5th and indeed incredibly pleased with our results overall, UKIP is the opposition in Hartlepool and we have demonstrated that. I look forward to putting Labour under the microscope and fight hard for my ward residents
UKIP North East MEP Jonathan Arnott commented “I am absolutely delighted that UKIP is now the official opposition on Hartlepool Council. We have fought a great campaign, gained three seats, and could easily have gained more. The gains are a credit to everyone who helped to turn huge swathes of this town purple.
The real hard work starts now. We have to prove that our new councillors can do an excellent job in representing their constituents. We have toprove that UKIP can be a credible opposition in the Council chamber, holding an appallingly complacent Hartlepool Labour Party to account. I know that John, Shane and Bob will relish the opportunity to do just that.
But it’s not just in Hartlepool where we’re making progress. UKIP activists have worked incredibly hard to achieve good results across the region. It’s heartening to see just how many places there now are where UKIP are strong, credible challengers to Labour and this bodes well for our future in Sunderland, Newcastle and South Tyneside. When we have the results for North Tyneside and Gateshead, I’m sure they will be just as positive.”
Fens and Rossmere:
Bob Buchan (UKIP) 1191
Tom Casey (Green) 134
Dennis Loynes (Con) 240
Ann Marshall (Lab) 769
Headland and Harbour:
Jim Ainslie (Lab) 617
Chris Broadbent (Con) 117
Shane Moore (UKIP) 619
Robbie Payne (Lab)
648 John Tennant (UKIP) 754
Jayne Wells (Con) 150