LABOUR has held a county council seat in Blackwood in a by-election after a councillor stood down for family reasons earlier this year.

Cllr Allan Rees was elected in the poll which took place in the Caerphilly county borough town on Thursday.

The by-election was called after Labour Blackwood Councillor Diana Ellis stood down for family reasons.

Cllr Rees said: “It’s still sinking in, but I’m very pleased. There was a lot of hard work.

“Coming in on a by-election is different to coming in on a normal election, as its just you. The intensity is a lot more focused I think.”

Father-of-two Cllr Rees, 33, who is going to continue his work as a social worker for Newport council, said he has always wanted to stand as a councillor.

The Blackwood resident said: “I’ve settled now with my children and my family – I thought it this is perhaps the right time to run.”

Councillor Rees will join Labour Councillors Nigel Dix and Pat Cook to represent the Blackwood in the ward.

Islwyn Labour MP Mr Evans said: “I am delighted that Allan has secured a victory for Labour, winning such a large percentage of the vote.

“I am sure that he is going to make an excellent councillor, and will work hard with Pat and Nigel to represent the people of Blackwood.”

Allan Rees polled 620 votes in the poll that took place on April 24.

Independent candidate Keith Smallman came second in the poll, taking 477 votes, while Plaid’s Andrew Farina-Childs came third, polling 349 votes.

The Tories' Cameron Muir-Jones took 68 votes.

A total of 1,520 votes were cast – with a turnout of 24.3 per cent. There were six spoilt ballot papers.