A LABOUR Party candidate for an Oxfordshire County Council ward is making a legal challenge against a result which saw them lose their seat.

Mark Cherry, the candidate for the Banbury Ruscote division in the election held on Thursday with the backing of the Labour Party, is to submit an election petition to the High Court to challenge the declaration of the result of the Banbury Ruscote division made at the election count on Sunday.

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Mr Cherry and his Labour Party advisers consider they have reasonable grounds to believe that an administrative error was made in the declaration of the election result.

The remedy set out in electoral law for this, is for a candidate to file an election petition which requests the result of the election be corrected.

Once a Returning Officer has formally declared the result of an election, that result is legally binding unless it is overturned by a special election court, under the supervision of the High Court.

As it currently stands, Conservative Jayne Strangwood has been elected as the Councillor for Banbury Ruscote on Oxfordshire County Council and will remain so until the matter is resolved by the High Court.

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If successful it could reduce the Conservatives' lead over the Lib Dems, leaving them level with 21 seats apiece on the council.

Banbury and Bicester Constituency Labour Party said in a statement: "We ask that sensitive consideration is given to all those affected by this situation but particularly the candidates, Mark Cherry and Jayne Strangwood."

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