- Liberal Democrats are celebrating a victorious night as Manchester council is no longer a one party state, following the election of John Leech, the former MP for Manchester Withington.
- John Leech won the party’s top target seat, Didsbury West, in what has been a triumphant night for the Manchester Liberal Democrats.
- Tim Farron, the party leader, hailed the win as: “a well deserved, long awaited and overwhelming triumph.”
John Leech, the former MP for Manchester Withington, has been elected to Manchester council to represent Didsbury West ward in what has been a triumphant night for the Liberal Democrats.
The result means Manchester council is no longer a one party state.
John Leech was the MP for Manchester Withington for 10 years, after he was elected in 2005 with the biggest swing in the country. He was first elected to Manchester council in 1998 when he represented the same area, and has now secured the victory once again.
Just weeks ago Labour dismissed John Leech’s chances of victory when the Liberal Democrats placed his seat as the absolute top target to win this May.
John Leech said: “In 2005 I promised not to give up on the residents of Manchester Withington. I haven’t and I'm not going to. I will continue to fight for south Manchester as I always have done. I’m not going anywhere.”
He added: “I couldn’t be happier to be back on the council and back in a position to help local residents.”
Tim Farron, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: “John is one of the hardest working people I’ve ever known and I am absolutely thrilled that his much needed voice is back on Manchester council.”
Farron added: “Where you work, you win. And nobody fought harder this year, nobody deserves to celebrate more today, than John Leech and his team. I am absolutely delighted that he is back where he belongs.
“Congratulations to John and his team, this is a well deserved, long awaited and overwhelming triumph.”
John Leech now leads the voice of opposition on Manchester council.
The former ‘MP of the Year’ award winner, John Leech, concluded: “Manchester residents appreciate the hard work that we do around the area and it's an absolute honour to be elected back on to the council. It is a privilege that I have never, and wouldn't ever, take for granted.
“I want to say a huge thank you to every single person who voted for me; to everyone who has supported my campaign and to all my friends, family, volunteers and activists who have fought so hard with me over the last 12 months.
“The dedication has been truly heart-warming, and tonight, it has paid off.
“Tonight, I share this victory with you all."
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- John Leech has been elected to represent Didsbury West ward.
- John Leech won the Patchwork Liberal Democrat MP of the Year award for “tireless work with minority and under-represented groups in his constituency.”
- John Leech was the MP for Manchester Withington from 2005 – 2015.
- John Leech was elected as councillor for Barlow Moor ward in 1998. This later merged to become Didsbury West & Chorlton Park.