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By James Robinson

Voters in North Tyneside have elected a black councillor for the first time in the authority's 48-year history.

Labour candidate Josephine Mudzingwa was elected to serve the Benton ward on North Tyneside Council at Thursday's local elections.

Josephine held the ward with a landslide victory, winning 1,577 votes compared to her nearest challenger, independent councillor David Arthur.

Read more: North Tyneside Council local election results 2022: How every candidate scored

Wayne Kavanagh ( Conservatives ) finished third with 534 votes while Jay Beyer (Liberal Democrats ) received 244 votes. The seat had previously been held by Labour's councillor Peter Earley, who did not stand at this year's election.

Speaking after her election, the newly elected councillor Mudzingwa said: "I would like to thank all the people who have made this journey possible. Many thanks go to the people of Benton.

Benton ward councillor Josephine Mudzingwa (Copyright Unknown)

"I promise to work hard for the people of Benton and I will make you proud."

The result came well into the night after the count was delayed due to the late arrival of thousands of postal votes which had to be processed before the count could begin.

But there were still huge cheers on the night as Coun Mudzingwa's victory was confirmed. It was a good night for Labour overall, with the party winning 18 of the 20 seats available on the night, and making two gains including the seat of Conservative Group leader Sean Brockbank.

However, they also lost one seat to the Conservatives, meaning the party now has 51 seats of the 60 on the council, with the Tories holding the other nine.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service after the count, Coun Mudzingwa said: "I'm very pleased, because I wasn't expecting it and I've worked really hard to get where I am.

"In my eyes, North Tyneside is a very diverse community and every child here deserves to feel that they are also represented.

"I decided to run because if you have any worries or things you are not happy with, and you decide to hide away, you are not helping yourself.

"It is good for me, because I beat the Conservatives - they got 534 votes and I got 1,577 - it was huge. That goes to the people of Benton - those people are very, very good people, they love democracy and I am so proud."

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Dive Deeper:
North Tyneside Council local election results 2022: How every candidate scored
Local election results 2022 for North Tyneside Council in full by the wards contested as they are declared on election…
North Tyneside Conservatives leader loses his seat in 2022 elections
Almost 3,000 postal votes arriving at 9pm on polling day meant the completion of the count was pushed back by…
Local elections 2022: Results from Newcastle and the North East at a glance
Voters have gone to the polls in the North East and had their say in the latest local elections in…
What are the Trafford council local election 2022 results?
Labour gained one seat - retaining overall council control - as did the Greens. The Liberal Democrats gained two
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
What are the Stockport council local election 2022 results?
Twenty-one council seats were up for grabs in wards Bramhall North, Bramhall South and Woodford, Bredbury and Woodley, Bredbury Green…
Labour remains dominant force in Newcastle as just one seat changes hands on local election night
Labour lost one seat to the Lib Dems, but held off a series of challenges elsewhere in the city to…
Get all your news in one place