Yvette Cooper "wouldn't know democracy if it scratched her in the eyeballs", says Wakefield councillor

Wakefield councillor Steve TulleyWakefield councillor Steve Tulley
Wakefield councillor Steve Tulley
A West Yorkshire Labour councillor has launched an explosive attack on the party’s MP for Pontefract, Normanton and Castleford, Yvette Cooper.

Steve Tulley said Ms Cooper “wouldn’t know democracy if it scratched her in the eyeballs” after he was re-elected to serve the South Elmsall and South Kirkby ward on Wakefield Council.

Ms Cooper co-led a Parliamentary amendment which took a no-deal Brexit off the table at the end of March, which was promptly followed by a petition to deselect her as an MP.

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Around 23,000 people signed the petition, though her office said that 97 per cent of those were from outside the constituency.

But in an astonishing speech after being re-elected to the seat he’s held since 2011, Coun Tulley blamed Ms Cooper for Labour losses in Wakefield, in what was branded a “disappointing” night for the party.

Long-serving members Glenn Burton, Yvonne Crewe and Glyn Lloyd all lost their positions.

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Taking the microphone as his result was announced, Coun Tulley said: “There has been some wonderful candidates who’ve lost tonight.

West Yorkshire MP Yvette CooperWest Yorkshire MP Yvette Cooper
West Yorkshire MP Yvette Cooper

“And it’s all because of the MP for Pontefract, Normanton and Castleford, who wouldn’t know what democracy was if it scratched her in the eyeballs.

“This district voted to leave the EU, and the way she has carried on has caused this council problems.

“It’s time them down in Westminster started to taking a bit of notice to what the people have said.

“It’s their antics that have cost us tonight.”

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Ms Cooper is believed to have been at the local elections count at Thornes Park in the early hours of Friday, but it is thought she left the building before Coun Tulley’s result was declared.

The Liberal Democrats took one of Labour’s seats in Knottingley, with independent candidates Alex Kear and Ian Womersley beating the party in Airedale and Ferry Fryston and Hemsworth, respectively.

Labour did win some of their under-threat seats with comfort, but were clinging on by their fingertips in some marginals.

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Charlie Keith, who is expected to be Wakefield’s next mayor, defeated the Conservatives by just 42 votes in Wrenthorpe and Outwood West, while the Yorkshire Party came within 100 votes of unseating Pat Garbutt in Pontefract North.