Councillor Michael Mordey previously held the number two role on Sunderland City Council, before being removed from the position due to “internal Labour Party politics” in 2020.
He publicly dismissed claims of a “vendetta” between himself and Graeme Miller, the leader of the council, who was also re-elected in his Washington South ward this month, as “nonsense”.
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Cllr Mordey put his success down to Labour being in a better position to campaign this time around, after the impacts of lockdown, along with other factors such as national issues and positive work by the party.
He said: “We’ve actually been able to campaign this time, we were struck by three lockdowns, we were told to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives and the Labour Party we did, we stopped all campaigning.
“We’ve worked hard, we’ve listened to the residents, we’ve spoken to them, asked what they want, and the Labour Party itself, we put forward a really positive thinking manifesto.
“Obviously national issues have played a factor, the cost of living crisis is really impacting in communities like Hendon, East End and Grangetown.”
He added it helps that he is “Hendon born and bred” and lived there all his life, and also praised the “team effort” from colleagues across the Labour Party, which has seen them “knock on thousands of doors.”
The former deputy leader, speaking after he was successful on Thursday (May 5) evening, added he has not given any thought to taking up potential positions on the council, with serving Hendon residents his priority.
He said: “I have no desire to hold any position at this point, I’m only interested at the minute in representing the residents of the Hendon ward.”