Tory leader out for count after polling day fall

THE leader of the South Tyneside Conservative Party was 'knocked out' on polling night – and he wasn't even standing for election.

Coun David Potts was poleaxed after he collapsed on the eve of Thursday's local elections.

The Cleadon and East Boldon councillor had elected to go to Sunderland Royal Hospital because of a heavy nose bleed, but while he was waiting to be treated he collapsed.

He said: "My nose had been bleeding all day. I'd already been to South Tyneside District Hospital in the morning but it wouldn't stop.

"I was referred to Sunderland Royal because they have a special ENT department.

"I still haven't got a clue what happened.

"I'd got up to get a drink of water and that's the last I can remember."

For the next 10 hours Coun Potts was unconscious, and awoke the following morning with more than a bloody nose

The 25-year-old had split his left eye open during the fall and needed stitches – but at least his nose had finally stopped bleeding.

But the worst was still to come for Coun Potts, who will go head to head with Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling at the next

General Election for the Scottish constituency of Edinburgh South West.

His injuries meant he was unable to attend the night's vote count and support fellow ward councillor Jeff Milburn, who was re-elected to the council.

He said: "It was certainly a bit of a bummer to say the least. I had to watch the results on television and wait for the news to slowly trickle in. I was gutted.

"I couldn't have wished for better treatment though, it was first class, the nurses were lovely and very efficient."

However, it was good news for the councillor when it was revealed Coun Milburn had held onto his seat from Labour rival Joan Atkinson.

Coun Potts said: "I never had any doubts that Jeff would lose his seat, he fought a very strong campaign and he's worked very hard.

"He deserved it."

After discharging himself from hospital on Friday, Coun Potts is now planning to spend a few days recuperating.

He laughed: "It's just a scratch really."

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