Pendle local election 2024 results in full

Independent councillors celebrated multiple wins at Pendle Council, after recent mass resignations from the Labour Party over policies on the Gaza conflict and other topics.

Israel-Palestinian issues, disillusionment with the Conservative government at Westminster, access to NHS doctors, hospital waiting lists and crumbling Lancashire roads were all cited as issues of importance to voters.

The new political landscape at Pendle Council has 12 independents across two groups, 13 Conservatives and eight Liberal Democrats. There are no Labour councillors.

Among the independents was Mohammed Iqbal. A former leader of Pendle Council and councillor for 26 years, he was suspended for 18 months in a investigation by the Labour Party and eventually re-instated. But he recently left Labour along with all the other Labour councillors to become independents.

Speaking at the election count in Colne, he said: "I'm delighted to be elected for another four years. I've been a councillor for 26 years and I'm grateful for the support I've had from voters. Today's results are about divisive Tory politics and also national party stances on Palestine.

"People are fed-up with the Conservative government. The country wants change but I would appeal to Keir Starmer to listen to people on the ground, who will not be dictated too.

"This country and the Labour Party have a history of speaking -out about injustices, here or across the world. Sadly, Labour is choosing to be 'soft Conservatives' at the moment. I would never say that we would not rejoin Labour in the future. But Keir Starmer needs to change his ways."

Unsuccessful Conservative candidate Hassan Mahmood stood against Mohammed Iqbal. He said: "In past elections, Conservatives were making progress in places like Bradley. But in this election, Israel-Gaza blocked our message. The national Tory stance on the Middle East blocked our local Conservative message and votes."

Conservative group leader Nadeem Ahmed was re-elected. He said: "Nelson and Colne have had significant government funding through levelling-up, UK Shared Prosperity Fund and other schemes. But I think people don't yet see the physical improvements. The Colne theatre and market hall works are under-way but the big Nelson schemes, such as Pendle Rise shopping centre, are yet to be seen. So that will probably effect public opinion in future.

"Generally, people are currently disillusioned with national politics and there's a reaction against the Tories. We're seeing that today and we need to address those issues. But I don't detect any big enthusiasm for Labour and Keir Starmer either.

"However, I also think local people do recognise the hard work done by local councillors of all political parties. So there are lots of factors at play."

Lib-Dem Coun David Whipp , the current deputy leader of Pendle Council, said: "The independent councillors, formerly Labour, and Lib-Dem councillors have a good relationship and we hope to continue our shared administration going forward following these elections.

"In the West Craven and Colne area, people feel badly let-down by national government. They're saying enough is enough - the Conservatives have had their day. People are struggling to get doctors appointments, hospital treatment or getting their children into a school of choice. These are fundamental things.

"The future of local leisure centres has also been contentious. The Tories say one Pendle leisure centre needs to close. No national government funding has come forward for the Colne leisure centre. So that's another issue too."

Asjad Mahmood, the current leader of Pendle Council, was also re-elected as an independent after leaving Labour.

He said: "Gaza was an important element but other issues matter too. Roads and transport were mentioned by many people. The state of roads in particular. People want things to be maintained. The NHS, doctors and hospitals are really big issues for people.

"Things have been financially hard for councils and we've had to make cuts. But we'll keep working hard and we've got some really key projects coming up, from the local master-plans for Colne, Earby and Barnoldswick, to the bigger projects for Nelson town centre, Pendle Rise shopping centre and Colne Market Hall. People will see a difference."