Sunderland Labour leader claims Boris Johnson 'hurting Conservatives' after Copt Hill election results declared

Sunderland City Council’s leader is hoping for a “very good” return for Labour looking ahead to next year’s polls and claimed Boris Johnson is “hurting” the Conservatives.

By Nic Marko
Friday, 17th June 2022, 5:19 pm

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A happy Councillor Graeme Miller. Picture by North News.
A happy Councillor Graeme Miller. Picture by North News.

The contest was due to take place last month as part of the local government elections where a third of seats on the council were up for grabs, but was put on hold due to the death of UKIP candidate Reg Coulson during campaigning.

Labour’s Cllr Graeme Miller, City Council leader, previously said the party had “stopped the rot” in Sunderland with this year’s election results, after seeing its majority shrink in recent years.

The Copt Hill result means Labour now holds 42 of the 75 seats on the council, one fewer than they did prior to the May local elections, but opposition parties had been looking to make substantial gains and push the authority into 2no overall control’.

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Speaking after Cllr Tracy Dodds’ success in Copt Hill, he stated the Labour vote in the region and nationwide is on the rise again, with Conservative support impacted by controversies around Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Cllr Miller said: “I think that if the Conservative Party don’t have a manifest change in their leadership, the Labour vote is only going to continue to grow.

“Personally I’m quite happy for Boris Johnson to stay there because he’s hurting their brand and people are beginning to realise why, would we vote for them?

“Labour is now being looked at as a serious alternative [nationally] and long may that continue.”

Residents will next year again be going to the polls to elect one third of councillors on the City Council, and Labour are hoping to continue their success by “listening to what residents want”.

Cllr Miller, who was re-elected in the Washington South ward in May, said the Copt Hill success and other local election results show the Labour vote is “lifting and lifting because residents can see we’re delivering for them”.

He added: “I am looking forward to having a very good return in May 2023 if it carries on the way it’s going.”