DUDLEY Labour Party has celebrated victory in the St James ward by election in Dudley.

Labour’s Caroline Reid has claimed the seat which was left vacant after Tory councillor Wayne Sullivan stood down on July 12 for personal reasons.

She polled 816 votes to the 719 won by Conservative candidate Rab Rana in a byelection on Thursday August 24.

Independent candidate John Tasker polled 85 votes, Christian Kiever polled 50 votes for Dudley Green Party and political stalwart Abdul Qadus, representing the Liberal Democrats, polled just 32.

The turnout was 16.92 per cent.

Councillor Qadar Zada, leader of Dudley Labour Party, said: “I'm delighted to welcome Caroline to Dudley Council’s Labour Group. St James is a ward where the majority of councillors were Conservative until Thursday. This is a gain from the Conservatives and a gain for the people of Dudley and a clear sign that Labour is on route back to power in 2024.

“With more Labour councillors elected, we will put Dudley firmly back on the map.”