Labour lost overall control of Kirklees Council in a dramatic election which saw former council leader Shabir Pandor and two Cabinet members lose their seats.

Labour’s overall majority going into the election had been cut to just one following defections from the party over the conflict in Gaza.

But few could have predicted stunning victories for Independents in parts of Batley and Dewsbury, which wrenched control away from Labour.

Clr Pandor, a long-serving councillor who led the council for five years until last year, lost to Independent Zahid Kahut in Batley West by over 1,700 votes.

Also ousted were Cabinet member for communities, Mussarat Pervaiz in Dewsbury West, and Cabinet member for health and social care, Clr Jackie Ramsay (Dewsbury South).

One of the driving forces behind the new Kirklees Community Independents Group, Clr Ammar Anwar, said Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s stance on Gaza would cause lasting damage to the party.


Council leader Cathy Scott with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, Labour group chief whip Will Simpson and former council leader Shabir Pandor

Clr Anwar, who quit Labour in January over the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, said: “Britain now needs an alternative left wing socialist party and the results across Kirklees have shown a new dynamic of politics.

“I am in the process of creating a new People’s Labour Party and hopefully it will replace the Labour Party. We are going to field candidates all over Britain. I don’t think the Labour Party will ever recover from this.

“People have woken up around Britain, not just Kirklees. It’s a new dynamic and our party will be the new choice of the people, by the people.”

Labour slipped from 35 seats to 31, leaving council leader Clr Cathy Scott’s administration in disarray. The new make-up of the council is: Labour 31; Conservative 15; Liberal Democrat 10; Independents 9; Green 4.

Kirklees Community Independents was formed in February after councillors Jo Lawson and Imran Safdar (both Crosland Moor & Netherton) quit Labour and teamed up with Clr Anwar (Dewsbury West) and Ebrahim Dockrat (Batley East). When she resigned, Clr Lawson described the Kirklees Labour group as a “toxic swamp.”

At the election, the breakaway group backed a number of independent candidates, mainly in parts of North Kirklees.


New councillor Tanisha Bramwell with Clr Ammar Anwar (left)

Shabir Pandor was defeated by Independent candidate Zahid Kahut, while Aziz Daji took the Labour seat vacated by Ebrahim Dockrat, who didn’t seek re-election.

In Dewsbury West – where Clr Anwar made allegations of threats and intimidation resulting in a man being arrested – Cabinet member for communities Mussarat Pervaiz was beaten by community activist Tanisha Bramwell, who runs a local food bank.

In Dewsbury South, Jackie Ramsay, who had to defend the Cabinet’s plans to close two dementia care homes, lost to Independent Hanifa Darwan.

Labour also lost long-serving councillor Steve Hall, a former chairman of planning, to Independent Arshad Ali in Heckmondwike.

Clr Scott’s nine-strong Cabinet was already depleted after deputy leader Clr Paul Davies, responsible for corporate services, announced he was to step down to focus on his campaign to become MP for the Colne Valley.

It was also revealed this week that Dewsbury East Labour councillor Paul Moore had been suspended from the Labour Party after appearing in court charged with causing a public nuisance and carrying on a business with intent to defraud the public. He was allegedly involved in the operation of a Covid testing business during the pandemic.

The Labour Party confirmed that Clr Moore had been “administratively suspended” and a spokesman added: “This also has the automatic effect of suspending the Labour whip on the council.”


Council leader Cathy Scott refused to comment on matters being dealt with by the police and courts.

She said Labour in Kirklees had done all it could to influence national politicians over Gaza – compiling a motion and writing to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

She added: “People want to be appreciated and listened to and we have to go back into our communities. Democracy has prevailed but it’s about listening.”

Clr Scott, who became leader last September, was asked where the result left her administration.

“It leaves our administration ploughing forward for the greater good of people in Kirklees,” she said. “I hope whoever is returned into post is going to look at what is needed for the people of Kirklees.

“It’s for people out there, the services we can deliver. Until we get a fairer funding system, I am afraid it’s going to be challenging.”

Asked if she could continue as leader, she replied: “I am hoping so but democracy prevails and it’s about the group decision. Let’s see.”

Elsewhere, the Green Party also delivered a blow to Labour with Alex Vickers defeating Manisha Kaushik in Crosland Moor & Netherton while Holme Valley North Independent Charles Greaves comfortably saw off a challenge by both Labour and the Tories.

Newly-elected Clr Tanisha Bramwell said that Gaza had been a big issue for half the electorate with the other half angry at council budget cuts and “mismanagement by Labour.”

She added: “This election was a tidal wave. Nationally we have been failed and locally we have been failed. Local people wanted someone to stand up for them.”



All the results:


IBOR, Collins Eni – Conservative Party 955

LONGSTAFF, David Alan – Liberal Democrats 1,668

TAYLOR, Peter Harvey – Green Party 514

COOLING, Patricia – Labour 983



GREEN, Daniel James – Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 164

HOMEWOOD, James Richard – Labour Party 1,970

RIDGWAY, David – Liberal Democrats 538

ROBERTS, Ian Andrew – Conservative Party 803

SMITHSON, Brenda – Green Party 644


Batley East

BLOOM, Jon – Liberal Democrats 153

DAJI, Aziz – Independent 3,835

DUFFY, Simon – Green Party 365

LUCITT, Phillip Anthony – Labour Party 901

MAYMAN, Neil – Conservative Party 412


Batley West

BIRD, Stephen John – Liberal Democrats 541

KAHUT, Zahid – Independent 2,695

PANDOR, Shabir – Labour 991

PHILLIPS, John Lydon – Green Party 439

RIAZ, Fatima – Conservative Party 519


Birstall and Birkenshaw

AKRAM, Tahir – Green Party 411

SMITH, Julie Margaret – Labour Party 1,515

THOMPSON, Mark Stephen – Conservative Party 1,854

WALSH, Louise Mary – Liberal Democrats 176



BRIGGS, Piers John – Conservative Party 746

PINNOCK, Kathryn Mary – Liberal Democrats 2,823

PRICE, Martin – Green Party 230

WHITE, Jessica – Labour Party 634


Colne Valley

BARNETT, Isaac Oliver – Conservative Party 1,049

MARCHINGTON, Harry – Liberal Democrats 615

MCLOUGHLIN, Matthew Paul – Labour 2,493

MILLEA, Tim – Yorkshire Party 473

NORMAN, Julia Frances – Green Party 470


Crosland Moor and Netherton

BARRACLOUGH, Suzanne – Liberal Democrats 331

BELLAMY, Trevor – Conservative Party 590

FINCH, Mark John – Independent 257

KAUSHIK, Manisha Roma – Labour 1,657

VICKERS, Alex – Green Party 2,011



AHMED, Munir – Labour Party 1,492

BLACK, Dominic James David – Liberal Democrats 332

HIRST, Glenn Andrew Richard McCallum – Conservative Party 735

HOLDEN, Clare – Independent 240

WALTERS, Clare – Green Party 569


Denby Dale

BAMFORD, Timothy Vincent – Conservative Party 2,530

BANKS, Michelle – Labour Party 2,089

CARROLL, Lynne – Independent 230

SHAW, Michael Matthew – Green Party 310

WILKINSON, James Andrew – Liberal Democrats 151


Dewsbury East

COWAN, John – Conservative Party 758

FIRTH, Eric – Labour and Co-operative Party 1,534

HULLOCK, Dennis – Liberal Democrats 859

RICHARDS, Gideon Barry – Green Party 622


Dewsbury South

BECK, Richard – Independent 87

DARWAN, Hanifa – Independent 3,443

DISKEN, Bernard Thomas – Liberal Democrats 94

GUY, Sean David – Conservative Party 455

MADDOX, Shaun – Independent 228

RAMSAY, Jackie – Labour 1,063

WHITTINGHAM, Nicholas Eugene – Green Party 155


Dewsbury West

BRAMWELL, Tanisha – Independent 3,109

COPE, Simon John – Green Party 317

HUSSAIN, Sajid – Conservative Party 855

PERVAIZ, Mussarat Shaheen – Labour Party 1,390

ROSSINGTON, John Edward – Liberal Democrats 171



CROMPTON, Matthew James Andrew – Conservative Party 597

PEACOCK, Heather Louise – Green Party 470

SEWELL, Angela Pamela – Labour Party 1,656

TURNER, Nicola Jane – Liberal Democrats 1,520



JAWAID, Maryam – Green Party 1,713

NAEEM, Waseem – Independent 884

SINGH, Manjit – Liberal Democrats 263

SPEED, Rob – Conservative Party 688

ULLAH, Sheikh Noor – Labour Party 1,754



ARSHAD, Ali – Independent 1,554

HALL, Steve – Labour Party 1,470

HUSSAIN, Amin – Conservative Party 612

PUGSLEY, Josie – Liberal Democrats 315

SIMPSON, Graham – Green Party 274


Holme Valley North

COHEN, Howard – Liberal Democrats 172

FISHER, Jayne Elizabeth – Labour Party 1,393

GREAVES, Charles Roger – Independent 2,430

HEATHCOTE, David Michael – Conservative Party 1,186

MIDGLEY, Samuel Adrian – Green Party 296


Holme Valley South

BROOK, Damian Craig – Conservative Party 2,660

GOULD, Darryl Paul Anthony – Green Party 614

GRIFFITHS, Ellen – Liberal Democrats 246

RYLAH, Jane Elizabeth – Labour Party 2,916



BOWEN, Edward John – Labour Party 1,291

FINCH, Miri – Independent 129

SCOTT, Andy – Green Party 1,089

SMITH, James Richard – Conservative Party 1,995

WILES, Craig – Liberal Democrats 152



BURTON, Richard Andrew John – Green Party 517

DURRANS-CROSS, Tom – Labour Party 1,113

MCGUIN, Robert William Anthony – Conservative Party 1,879

PARRY, Helen Mary – Heritage Party 88

ROBINSON, Ashleigh Victoria – Liberal Democrats 2,036


Liversedge and Gomersal

AMENDE, Erica Susan – Labour Party 1,511

HOLT, Caroline Jane – Conservative Party 1,867

SIMMONS, Linda Elizabeth – Green Party 400

SNEE, David Peter – Liberal Democrats 258



BOLT, Martyn – Conservative Party 2,827

GRIFFITH-JONES, Sam – Reform UK 509

KERNAN, Geoff – Labour Party 1,794

LONG, Stephen James – Liberal Democrats 116

WHITTINGHAM, Catherine Helen – Green Party 334



ANWAR, Waheed – Liberal Democrats 125

BELLAMY, Kath – Conservative 272

COOPER, Andrew Varah – Green Party 2,593

MORRIS, Mark – Labour Party 892


Kirklees Council Labour group hit by resignation of four councillors in protest over Gaza and local leadership