THE British National Party’s top Kirklees councillor lost his seat to Labour in a closely fought contest.
Heckmondwike councillor David Exley was beaten at the polls by local man Steve Hall.
It leaves the BNP with two councillors in Kirklees.
Clr Hall said he hoped the ghost of the BNP was in the past and he was looking forward to getting started.
He added: “I knew it was going to be a close call between us and the BNP, but we worked hard for it and they didn’t.
“The BNP haven’t achieved anything in Heckmondwike over the last few years.
“The BNP have jumped on bandwagons for things other people have done and then claimed it for themselves.
“They have lost a great deal of votes. They don’t seem to have the support they had.”
Asked whether he thought the Labour win was based on policy, he added: “I understand a lot of people are a bit miffed about Gordon Brown and the 10p tax debacle.
“But we polled more than 2,000 votes because of what we are prepared to do for this town. That is why we won. We want to get the community working together again.
“Our election campaign has been issue led and that is why people voted for us. It was a return to the old-fashioned traditional campaigning.”
Mr Exley polled the second highest votes in the Heckmondwike ward.
As the 10 other beaten BNP candidates left the count, he said: “I am disappointed for the party.
“We got a huge number of votes all over.”
Labour leader Clr Mehboob Khan said his group had halted the rise of extremism.
He said: “By defeating the BNP we have proved that there is no room for hate and divisive politics in Kirklees.”
The Liberal Democrats polled highly in North Kirklees, with Clr Kath Pinnock (Cleckheaton) and Clr Karam Hussain (Dewsbury West) beating their nearest rivals by more than 1,000 votes each.
Clr Pinnock said: “I am absolutely delighted. It’s the biggest majority we’ve ever had in Cleckheaton and it shows the work that we do within the community has the support of the people.
“All over Labour have lost quite a few seats, which is a reflection that the people don’t like what they are seeing.
“We are working for people every day, we don’t just start up again a month or so before an election.
“I will be on the streets again next week, meeting people, getting their views and dealing with issues that matter to people.
“The three main parties in Kirklees have to work more closely together now than ever before because the gap between us all is closing in.”