Harun won the Shadwell by-election in Tower Hamlets, East London on Thursday defeating the former Labour council leader Micheal Keith. Keith was first defeated by Respect in last year's council election but was hoping to use the by-election to return to power.
Respect gained 1,512 votes (43 percent) while New Labour gained 1,415 (40 percent). The Tories gained 476 (13 percent) and the Lib Dems received 98 votes (2 percent).
The coucil by election was imprtant as New Labour mounted a massive effort to try and get Micheal Keith re-elected. Gordon Brown, government ministers, former MP Oona King, and councillors and Labour Party workers from across London were all drafted in to support the campaign in the area.The Respect vote remained rock solid after a powerful grassroots campaign focusing on housing, privatisation and New Labour's support for the property developers' agenda in Tower Hamlets.
Harun Miah said: "I am overwhemled by the support local people have given Respect. This result sends a clear message that the people of Tower Hamlets are unhappy with New Labour's policies. I send my condolences to the losing candidates."
This is a humiliating blow to New Labour's wider credibility, not only in Shadwell. It clearly indicates that people want an alternative to privatisation, war and the housing crisis, and that where Respect stands in elections and campaigns around these issues, Respect is that alternative.
The win is a major boost for Respect in the Greater London Authority (GLA) elections next year, as we continue to build support both in East London and in all the constituencies across London.