CHEERS of joy rang out through North Bridge Leisure Centre last night as a delighted Coun Mohammed Najib kept his seat in St John's ward.
Jubilant supporters carried him aloft at the news that he had held on by a majority of 500 votes.
The Labour councillor polled 1,480 votes, beating Conservative candidate, Shakar Saghir, who gained 980 votes.
Councillor Najib, of Milton Place, Halifax, has been a member of the council since 1986 and was the Deputy Mayor of Calderdale in 1987.
"I'm delighted," he said.
He put his resounding success and increased majority down to a lot of hard work and dedication to his ward.
"It's business as usual.
"Najib's door is open 24 hours for all the people that need my assistance. I'm there to help them.
"This shows that if you work hard people will back you up.
"I have worked over in the Boothtown area which is 100 per cent white and they will work for you if you listen to them," he said.
He said he was saddened by the BNP's success and believed people were voting for them in protest and it should act as a wake-up call to other politicians.
Shakar Saghir, son of St John's Conser-vative councillor Mo-hammed Saghir, was a member of Calderdale Council for four years before he lost his seat in last May's election.
Liberal Democrat candidate John Beacroft-Mitchell, of Cleveley Gardens, Mytholmroyd, polled 566 votes.
It was the first time the 26-year-old had stood for election and he said he did not know if he would stand again.
At the news that the BNP had won a seat in the Illingworth ward he said: "It's a very sad day for democracy."
The BNP candidate Andrew Mulligan, of Canterbury Crescent, Boothtown, Halifax, won 480 votes.