Cllr Julie Johnson’s victory in ousting another Tory from Weoley made national headlines on Sky and ITV.
Sky News Political Editor Faisal Islam tweeted an ‘unexpected win’.
Well well well… Just one ward but unexpected Labour gain from Conservatives in Birmingham – Weoley pic.twitter.com/5c8i7L17vn
— Faisal Islam (@faisalislam) May 5, 2016
Weoley not only took the seat from the Tories, but were also quoted on ITV News as the first seat declared in Birmingham.
Julie’s victory is the second time in as many years that Weoley Labour has taken a seat from the Tories. Since 2008, Weoley Tories had held onto three seats in Birmingham City Council, until Cllr Steve Booton took a seat in the 2015 election with a majority of almost 600. Julie was up against a long-standing councillor, but still managed an emphatic win with a 182-vote majority.
What a great day…what a team
Cllr Johnson said: “This is an absolutely fantastic result.
“I want to thank the people of Weoley for placing their trust in me and I want to thank my agent and everyone on my campaign team – the number crunchers, the door knockers, the leaflet deliverers, the phone bankers and the sandwich makers – for their unstinting support and loyalty.
“I’m really looking forward to standing up for Weoley and working alongside Steve. As a united team of two, we can make changes in Weoley.”
After the years of dedicated service he put into Weoley, Steve welcomed Cllr Johnson on board, saying: “What a fantastic victory by Julie Johnson in Weoley ward. Julie put her heart and soul into this campaign, showing true grit, determination and enthusiasm.
“This has been a hard fought victory for Julie and the Labour Team in Weoley. It shows once and for all that if the Tories think they can win in Weoley by snapping selfies in front of piles of rubbish, making up stories about council services and defending a government that attacks the poor and the disabled, they can think again.”
In a clean sweep across the Northfield constituency, newly elected Cllr Carole Griffiths retained Longbridge for Labour (after former Cllr Jess Phillips was elected to parliament) and Cllrs Val Seabright and Brett O’Reilly retained their seats in the Kings Norton and Northfield wards.
You can see Julie’s page on the Birmingham City Council website at www.birmingham.gov.uk/cs/Satellite/weoley-councillors (to be updated).