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Monday, July 17, 2006

I fought the Law but the Law won!

Labour's Assembly candidate in the Blaenau Gwent by-election has announced that he is standing down and will let somebody else have a crack at the seat next year.

Mr Hopkins, the leader of the local council, said: "I enjoyed the by-election campaign, despite not being elected.

"I do feel however that now I have fought the by-election campaign it is up to someone else to have a go.

"But there is important work to do for Blaenau Gwent and I fully intend carrying on as council leader.

Let us hope that as Council leader he is able to deal with some of the law and order issues he highlighted as a candidate last month. Specifically, he might try repairing the relationship between his Council and the Police, described by the local Inspector as in a 'state of collapse'.

Labour Finance Minister, Sue Essex, paid tribute to Mr. Hopkins:

Assembly Finance Minister Sue Essex, who plans to stand down next year, said: "We are all extremely proud of the job John did as the Labour Assembly candidate in the by-election.

"Labour did significantly close the gap on the independents and that was in large part due to the enthusiasm and vision of John."

Really? Technically, the Assembly result must go down as a Labour loss. After all at the previous election Labour won the seat. But, honestly, this was the seat of Aneurin Bevan and Michael Foot. It was one of Labour's safest seats. Who do they think they are fooling by trying to pretend that their candidate did well to reduce a non-existent majority?
There may of course be extenuating circumstances, but it looks like he doesn't rate his chances next time around either.
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