The ill-tempered struggle for control of Bradford escalated yesterday as George Galloway's Respect party defeated Labour's leader in the city, in one of the few low points for Ed Miliband.
Mr Galloway claimed that the Labour Party in Bradford was about to be taken into special measures by Mr Miliband.
The new Respect MP, who predicted a revolutionary "Bradford Spring" following his shock return to Parliament in a by-election win in March, failed in his quest to gain enough seats to exert control over the council – but he was able to claim the biggest council election scalp of the night.
The Respect candidate Alyas Karmani narrowly defeated council leader Ian Greenwood in the Little Horton ward that the Labour veteran has represented for 17 years – albeit after three recounts. It left Labour with 45 of the 90 seats – an increase of two. Respect failed to win the eight seats predicted by Mr Galloway but did seize five of the 12 wards it contested.
Councillor Greenwood said he feared young people who had given their support to Mr Galloway would be left "disenfranchised and alienated" when he failed to deliver on his promises.
But Mr Galloway said: "We took the head off the rotten fish that is the Bradford City Council."
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