Washington's only Tory councillor says he is 'willing to work' with Labour leader

Washington has welcomed four new councillors after last week’s elections, including one Conservative.

Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 3:49 pm

Usually Washington’s 15 councillors are exclusively Labour. But although the party kept overall control of the council, they lost nine seats across the city including six to the Conservatives.

One of the six is Cllr Paul Donaghy of the Washington South ward, which he now represents alongside Labour’s Louise Farthing and council leader Graeme Miller.

Cllr Donaghy, a Royal Navy veteran who lives in Oxclose with his wife and four children, is looking forward to the challenge. He says he would, despite their political differences, be willing to work with the other two councillors for the good of the ward.

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Michael Walker is the new Labour councillor for Washington North.
Michael Walker is the new Labour councillor for Washington North.

Mr Donaghy has only recently became actively involved in politics, joining the Conservative Party in 2019 because he wanted to make a stand against Jeremy Corbyn.

Mr Dohaghy said: “I’ve always had an interest in politics. In the Navy it helped you see where you would be deployed to.

“I didn’t just want to be a keyboard warrior. I want to raise the profile of Washington which is very low.

“You never get a straight answer when you ask what’s being spent in Washington. You’re just told we were given a new leisure centre and that’s it.

“I’m hoping the three of us can work together. We should share the same goals for Washington South. I intend to work with them every day. If they choose to work with me then great.”

Another new councillor is Labour’s Michael Walker representing Washington North, who replaces John Kelly who has stood down after 13 years on the council.

Mr Walker said: “I’ve lived here all my life and decided after many, many years that I want to make a difference, although I don’t want to be a career politician. For me it’s all about improving the local area. I especially want more for the young people to do.

“I’d like to thank everyone who supported me. John Kelly has offered me great support and advice.”

Washington has four new councillors in total. The other two are Sean Laws in Washington East and Jimmy Warne in Washington West, both Labour.

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