Euphoria and disappointment after ruling

Coun Steve Jones
Coun Steve Jones
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Unsurprisingly there were notably different reactions from the two parties following the judgment.


An ecstatic Coun Jones paid tribute to all those who had stood by him through the weeks of his legal battle, particularly former Standish elected representative Gareth Fairhurst for preparing the case behind the scenes.

Related: Wigan councillor did not quit so vote is axed

The council, meanwhile, issued a defiant statement despite the judge’s ruling.

Coun Jones said: “Obviously I am delighted with the judgment. Time and time again I have said I have never resigned.

“I would like to thank everyone at K&L Gates and Mr Nicholls QC at Matrix Chambers. They are the best legal team. I would also like to thank Gareth Fairhurst, as without his help none of this would have happened, and my fiancee Courtney for all her support over the last couple of months.”

A council spokeswoman said: “Today’s decision is really disappointing. We feel the residents of Bryn should have the right to have their say following the resignation of Coun Steve Jones on January 5.

“The cancellation of this by-election removes that democratic right. We’d like to apologise to those who have already taken the time to vote.

“It’s our belief that there’s a clear distinction between election and employment law, the key difference in this case being that councillors cannot withdraw a resignation as it takes effect immediately. However, in the interests of protecting the public purse we will not be appealing this decision.”

The judge’s decision was also something of a blow for the other parties who had been canvassing for the vote in Bryn.

Vicky Johnson, the Labour candidate, said: “After many weeks of campaigning and talking to people on the doorstep about Labour’s positive policies for Bryn, it is very disappointing that voters will not now be able to cast their vote at the ballot box.”

“While I have not seen the court ruling so cannot comment on the decision to cancel the poll, I note the ruling of the court and now look forward to the campaign ahead of the local elections on May 3.”