Winning Lib Dem candidate Gail Smith said Labour members were rarely seen in the area except at election times, voters felt taken for granted, and the party organisation in Sheffield needed to address its own arrogance, rather than blaming Jeremy Corbyn.
Strong words. Strong enough to spark vandalism in Wakefield?
The woman who won a surprise Sheffield by-election victory over Labour has insisted that Jeremy Corbyn was not the reason for her success.
Liberal Democrat Gail Smith made the comments after being elected to represent the Mosborough ward in a by-election called following the death of Labour councillor Isobel Bowler earlier this year.
In a surprise result, she beat Labour party candidate and current Stocksbridge town councillor Julie Grocutt – just months after the Lib Dems came fourth in the ward.
Penistone and Stocksbridge MP Angela Smith has suggested the result was down to traditional Labour voters in Mosborough turning their backs on the party due to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership – but Councillor Smith said she didn’t believe that was the case.
Writing on the Star website, she said: “My Lib Dems team and I have spent the last 10 weeks working seven days a week in Mosborough, knocking on just about every door, and I can tell you Jeremy Corbyn was more popular than Angela Smith wants to admit. I certainly do not agree that is why I won.
“Most people told us that they never saw Labour, only at election time and they felt taken for granted. One lady told me that she had been canvassed by Labour, who when she told them she was voting for me, was told ‘You cannot vote Lib Dems, you live in a Labour area’.
“And that is the arrogance of this Labour Party here in Sheffield – Corbyn is not as unpopular as they would like you to think. They need to look very closely at their own leadership in Sheffield.
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