BREAKING NEWS: Lib Dems win by-election

LIBERAL Democrat Phil Knowles has won the Great Bowden and Arden by-election.

Barry Champion (Cons) and Phil Knowles (Lib Dem) were contesting the seat, which became vacant following the resignation in October of Tory council leader Alistair Swatridge due to ill health.

The patch includes much of the top end of Harborough around the High Street.

The result was:

Barry Champion (Cons)- 598 votes

Phil Knowles (Lib Dem) - 966

Majority: 378

Voter turnout: 27.8 per cent.

Votes were counted at the council offices and the result was announced at about 11.15pm.

Business consultant Phil Knowles was a councillor for Harborough's Bowden ward between 1987 until the mid-1990s.

A father-of-one, he has lived in the Harborough area for the past 27 years and lives in East Langton with his wife.

He has served on the governing bodies of two Harborough schools, including Great Bowden Primary, and has been campaigning for improvements to Harborough's hospitals for the past four years.

He is the Lib Dems' Harborough district chairman.