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Darlington votes counted again after court ruling

Votes in a council election in Darlington have been again, almost two weeks after the result was originally declared.

A judge today ordered sealed ballot papers to be re-opened to allow an investigation into the result for the Hurworth ward.

It was because of concerns that more than 500 postal votes had not originally been counted.

So all of the votes for that ward were recounted this afternoon - and nothing changed.

Here's an explanation from our reporter Jonny Blair:

Election votes to be counted again in Darlington

Votes will be counted again in one Darlington ward. Credit: PA Wire

The votes cast in a local election in Darlington will be recounted in Darlington this afternoon, almost two weeks after the original result was declared.

The re-inspection is being held for the Hurworth ward after it emerged some postal votes may not have been included in the final count.

Permission to legally re-open the sealed ballot papers had to be granted by a judge.

The recount will start at 4,30pm today at Darlington Town Hall.


Missing man 'at considerable risk'

Peter Lamb

Durham Police are searching Middleton St George and surrounding areas for a missing man.

Peter Lamb, 76, is considered to be at significant risk due to a medical condition. He was reported missing from his home and was last seen at 11.45pm on May 19.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101.

Recount of postal votes called for in Hurworth after doubts results not included

A council has applied to a county court for a recount of some postal votes cast in a local election after it emerged some of them may not have been counted.

Darlington Borough council said today an investigation has taken place into the results for the Hurworth ward following the elections last week. That investigation found that postal votes cast in the ward were verified but may not have been included. The council has applied to reopen the votes and recount them for the ward to see if the result would have been affected.

Ada Burns, Returning Officer for Darlington Borough Council said:

This was a very complex election with more than 270 staff working on the night and I regret to say that the following day one of the candidates alerted us to what he believed to be a possible error.

I took immediate advice from the Electoral Commission and instructed our audit team to carry out an investigation into this issue. As a consequence of the result of the investigation, I have decided to apply to the court to reopen the sealed ballot papers to see if the declared results would have been affected.

The inspection will not change the result but will enable candidates to decide whether to issue a petition . Until that is known, the declared results will stand.

We will be contacting all of the candidates who stood for election in this ward and advised them of my decision to apply to the court for the ballot papers to be reopened and votes recounted, and apologised for the inconvenience caused.

– Ada Burns, Returning Officer for Darlington Borough Council


Alan Milburn condemns Labour's 'ghastly experiment'

Former Darlington MP and Labour Health Secretary Alan Milburn

The former Darlington Labour MP and Health Secretary Alan Milburn has given a damning assessment of the last five years of Labour under Ed Miliband - and says the party needs to look to the new generation of MPs for leadership.

Mr Milburn said Labour had lost the election because it had failed to offer leadership or an economic policy that had a wide enough appeal.

He told the BBC's Newsnight:

"Frankly, we've been through a pretty ghastly experiment over these last five years where our offer has been that the public have moved massively to the left following the global financial crisis when actually, when you look at issues like immigration or Europe, arguably they have moved the other way. We need a new generation untainted by the past to solve those problems".

– Alan Milburn

Candidate name missed off ballot papers

A UKIP candidate's name has been missed off ballot papers issued to a polling station in Darlington.

Approximately 89 ballot papers, which had already been issued, were affected at the Harrowgate Hill ward.

Darlington Borough Council said this equates to 0.1% of the total number of ballot papers printed in the borough.

"As soon as the issue was identified, corrected ballot papers were issued to the polling station concerned," a statement on the council website said, adding that voting was continuing "as normal".

Ukip said that it would be considering whether to take action.

Voting in the general and local elections will continue as normal in the borough.

Darlington v Spennymoor: match report

Darlington Football Club are on the rise again !

The Quakers are on course for their second promotion in three years after winning a dramatic play-off semi-final against their local rivals Spennymoor Town.

The teams met in the Evostik Division One North play-off semi-final at Heritage Park, Darlington's temporary home in Bishop Auckland.

The Quakers won 3-2 and now face Bamber Bridge in the play-off final on Saturday. It's another step forward for a club that's suffered it's fair-share of heartbreak in recent years.

Our Sports Correspondent Simon O'Rourke was at the match.

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