Wakefield councillor says Labour ‘got what it deserved’ at general election

Steve Tulley said that last month's poll had effectively been a 'second referendum'.
Steve Tulley said that last month's poll had effectively been a 'second referendum'.

A Labour councillor, who launched a scathing attack on Yvette Cooper earlier this year, has suggested his party “got what it deserved” at the General Election for “ignoring” the public over Brexit.

Steve Tulley said that last month’s poll had effectively been a “second referendum”.

General election 2019, Wakefield Imran Ahmad Khan

General election 2019, Wakefield Imran Ahmad Khan

It comes seven months after Coun Tulley, who voted in favour of Leave at the 2016 referendum, claimed Ms Cooper, the Labour MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford, “wouldn’t know democracy if it scratched her in the eyeballs” in a slight at her Brexit stance.

His fresh criticisms were made as Wakefield councillors reflected on the election result, at their last meeting in 2019 on Wednesday.

The Labour Party had a disaster nationally, losing swathes of seats in their traditional heartlands, including Wakefield, where a Conservative MP was elected for the first time since the 1930s.

Coun Tulley said: “I think it was a lesson that you get what you deserve when you choose to ignore what the people who send us to Parliament, or indeed here, say.

“The General Election was an election in name only. It was a second referendum on Brexit whether you like it or not.

“If you choose to ignore what the people say, the consequences can be dire.

“But I think it’s incumbent on this council to make sure Wakefield’s new MP has his feet, metaphorically held to the fire, because this council has seen millions and millions of pounds worth of cuts, from which we have all suffered.”

The leader of the Conservative opposition group, Nadeem Ahmed, said he believed it was important MPs were “called out” when it was felt they weren’t representing the public.

He said: “I think there’s a certain disconnect between MPs and their constituents and we’ve seen that at this election.

“I think it’s important, whether privately or publicly, as Coun Tulley has done in the past, that we call these MPs out.

“All of us here suffer at the polling station when they say and do things that are against the wishes of the people, because many people don’t know the difference between MPs and councillors.”

The new Conservative MP, Imran Ahmad-Khan, will be invited to observe the day-to-day operations of the council.