LABOUR stormed to victory in the Rumworth by-election, with a huge majority of the vote.

Newly elected Councillor Shamim Abdullah secured 2,152 votes, with her nearest challengers UKIP on just 251.

Cllr Abdullah said she was 'elated' to have won the council seat vacated by her friend and mentor Rosa Kay, who died in July.

She said: "Rosa was such an inspiration as a councillor and she really taught me a lot. If I could achieve just a small amount of what she did then I will be really pleased.

"All the hard work has paid off and it I am so glad to have my friends and family here with me and the rest of the team.

"I am tired excited and a little bit overwhelmed, but very happy."

Cllr Abdullah, who has lived in the Rumworth ward for a long time, said her priority as a councillor will be to boost the area.

She said: "My main aim is to improve the quality of the lives of the people in the community that I love and to be the voice of that community on Bolton Council, I want to help to bring about positive change."

UKIP will be pleased to have finished in second place with their young candidate Jonathan Baxendale, who pushed the Tories and Mohammed Waqas into third place on 167 votes.

Bolton Green party leader Alan Johnson was just 40 votes behind in fourth, while Liberal Democrat Becky Forrest was bottom of the pile on 96.

Labour will always have been confident of winning this vote, but the size of the majority will be a boost at a time when the national party has suffered in the polls following a divisive leadership campaign.

Council leader Cliff Morris said he was 'very happy' with the result.

He added: "It is a really good boost for us because Shamim got a bigger majority of the vote than we did here last time, it means our vote is holding up very well."

"You never take these things for granted, but we worked it hard and if you don't do that you don't deserve to win it - but she got out in the community and knocked on a lot of doors and this is the result."

Cllr Morris was good friends with Cllr Kay and said Labour's newest elected member was the right person to carry on her work.

He added: "She is a very hard worker and that is what Rosa did."