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MAYORAL ELECTIONS: MAIN PARTIES SUFFER AT THE HANDS OF GRASSROOTS CANDIDATES

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Labour must reconnect with people, given its failure in three out of four...
Labour must reconnect with people, given its failure in three out of four

mayoral elections, Labour MP George Stevenson told BBC Radio Four's Today

programme this morning.

Mr Stevenson lost the mayoral election in Stoke-on-Trent, which was won by

Mike Wolf, an independent candidate who is a gay rights activist and who has

run the Citizens Advice Bureau in the city for 20 years.

Mr Stevenson, MP for Stoke-on-Trent South, said the result could be due to the fact that the elected

mayor is a new role. 'We are talking unknown territory here and quite a

number of people voted for Mike because of that', he said.

He rejected the idea that the result is a reaction against mainstream

politicians. 'But clearly we've got serious challenges in the Labour party',

he told Today.

The BNP candidate came third in Stoke and told the programme that the

election had been fixed against him.

The independent candidate also won in Mansfieldand easily in Bedford,

Today reported. Only in Hackneydid the Labour candidate - council leader

Jules Pipe - win.

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