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Gainsborough Lib Dems take Nettleham seat left vacant by disgraced Tory councillor

December 19, 2021 8:08 PM
By BBC in BBC

Jaime Oliver in Nettleham (Gainsborough Lib Dems)

The Gainsborough Liberal Democrats have won a council seat from the Conservatives left vacant after the authority's ex-leader was imprisoned for fraud.

Former West Lindsey council boss Giles McNeill was jailed for 14 months in November after admitting stealing more than £30,000 from his own party.

His seat in Nettleham was won in a by-election by Liberal Democrat Jaime Oliver, with more than 50% of the vote.

Conservative candidate Maureen Palmer dropped to second place, receiving 33%.

Speaking after her victory, Ms Oliver said she was "overwhelmed" by the support from the local community.

Some voters had told her they were voting Lib Dem for the first time in light of recent events, she said.

"I hope I can do them justice and drive my passions for the community forward," Ms Oliver told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Senior Liberal Democrat figures said they were confident they could take control of West Lindsey District Council from the Conservatives at the next election.

Trevor Young, leader of the Lib Dems on the council, said the victory "sets us up perfectly for 2023".

"What a great evening for us - and quite deservedly. We've got a fantastic candidate here," he added.

The result of the by-election leaves the Conservatives still in overall control of West Lindsey District Council with 17 seats.

The Liberal Democrats are in second place with 13 seats. The remaining six seats on the authority are represented by independents.

The by-election in Nettleham came as the Liberal Democrats took a North Shropshire seat held by the Conservatives for nearly 200 years.

Full results from Nettleham by-election (in alphabetical order):

  • Ben Loryman, Green Party: 71 votes (6%)
  • Jess McGuire, Labour Party: 116 votes (10%)
  • Jaime Oliver, Liberal Democrat: 585 votes (51%)
  • Maureen Palmer, Conservative: 374 votes (33%)

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-59698471