Labour of Love, Manchester city councillor proposes to girlfriend and fellow party member following maiden speech in chamber
- Labour Councillor Sean McHale proposes to girlfriend and fellow Councillor of the same ward Donna Ludford after being together for just over two decades.
- The newly engaged couple will be swapping the town hall for a wedding hall following romantic gesture.
Lord Mayor June Hitchen of Manchester had asked councillors to remain in the chamber yesterday for one final piece of business before allowing the recently elected Clayton and Openshaw councillor, Sean McHale to display this public romantic gesture to unsuspecting girlfriend, Donna Ludford, in front of fellow members of the council during the final meeting of 2018.
Breaking away from the usual council agenda, Cllr. McHale can be seen swiftly getting to his feet before making his way across the floor to Cllr. Ludford saying “23 years ago I met this amazing woman, I probably should have done this 20 years ago” taking fellow council members by surprise before getting down on one knee to propose.
— Clayton&Openshaw Lab (@ClaytonOpenshaw) 28 November 2018
The couple first met in 1995 at a nightclub in Manchester just before Cllr. McHale was due to set off to pursue a professional boxing career in the Canary Islands. Cllr. McHale said "It was love at first sight, I was going off to live in the Canary Islands. But I never got on the plane.” Two decades later, Cllr. McHale swapped fighting in the ring for fighting for the rights of his constituents after being elected onto Manchester City Council alongside his now bride to be for the Clayton and Openshaw ward in latest local council elections.
Speaking to The Manchester Evening News after yesterday's proposal, Cllr. Ludford said “I’m shocked! I didn’t have a clue, I thought he was nervous about his speech, I kept saying ‘you’re going to be fine’. I certainly didn’t think he would propose to me in the council chamber.” In response Cllr. McHale tells why he wanted to propose in such a great fashion, “I don’t think it’s been done before - and she always accuses me of not being romantic”.
The romantic gesture was met with cheers and applause as fellow council members celebrated their engagement. Other party members and colleagues have shared their messages of congratulations to the newly engaged couple on social media.
— Lucy Powell MP (@LucyMPowell) 28 November 2018
The newly engaged couple hope to get married next year.