Local elections 2022

Thank you to all who cast 16,071 votes for Labour candidates standing in Oldham West and Royton this week.

The backdrop to the campaign was intense throughout the constituency and I am deeply proud of the hard work, resolve and integrity shown by each of our candidates.

My congratulations to Colin McLaren and Barbara Brownridge who were returned as councillors in Chadderton, to Jean Stretton in Hollinwood, Shoab Akhtar in Werneth and Marie Bashforth in Royton. My warmest welcome to newly elected councillors Sajed Hussain and Umar Nasheen who together now represent Medlock Vale.

Polling station

As the dust settles on a mixed evening count there will be the usual further analysis and response, but for now I want to place on record my thanks to outgoing leader of the council Arooj Shah, Hannah Roberts, and Abdul Malik who were not returned as councillors on the night.

Arooj has been the leader of the council for a year and in a short time began to make the changes local people wanted to see; a cleaner, safer, and greener borough we can be proud of, launching the Don’t Trash Oldham campaign which has begun to make a difference.

I would be failing if I didn’t call out Oldham Conservatives for the way in which they coordinated a disgraceful campaign with Raja Miah, a political activist and former CEO of the Collective Spirit Free School which closed following a series of failures and scandals, who recently featured in Hope Not Hate State of Hate report.

The leaflets question made false allegations that she played a role in the cover up of child abuse and focused heavily on her ethnicity and religion before reminding voters the ward was ‘white majority’, seeding doubt about the character of the Labour candidate. The coordination of this sustained attack, which followed the same pattern which cost the previous leader his seat in nearby Failsworth, clearly had a material impact on the outcome of the election, as shown in the significant canvassing data gathered during the campaign.

The dignity in which Arooj Shah responded speaks to her character; to lose with integrity is better than to win with none.

For all those elected across all parties who acted with honesty, decency, and goodwill; Thank You. To come into public service demands much, but it matters that good people stand up to be counted.

Published by JimfromOldham

Labour and Co-operative MP for Oldham West & Royton

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