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Election 2017: Ilford North independent candidate Doris Osen thanks her supporters after ‘a brilliant result’

PUBLISHED: 14:13 09 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:42 09 June 2017

Doris Osen.

Doris Osen.

Archant

Independent candidate for Ilford North Doris Osen has thanked her supporters after she managed to almost quadruple her support in the constituency.

Although Labour’s Wes Streeting won the seat, 87-year-old Doris, who would have been the oldest MP in the country had she won, earned the backing of 368 constituents.

In 2015 she won just 87.

Reflecting on the seven week campaign, Doris said: “I knew I wasn’t going to win, but to quadruple my votes is a brilliant result, and I’m really happy with it.

“I only got 87 votes last time round but this time I knew what I was doing more and clearly there were people out there who supported my ideas.

I’d like to say a really big thank you to everyone who supported me. It’s very, very heartening to know that people out there that think the same way.”

The 87-year-old had been running her campaign with the message that something had to change to stop Conservative prime minister Theresa May from “running riot” in government, so it should come as no surprise that she was happy with the eventual overall winner in Ilford North.

“If I had to choose between them then I’m glad Wes won,” she said.

“I think what the Tories are trying to do is disgraceful and I think a lot of people across the country who voted for them yesterday are going to get fed up when they realise nothing is changing.”

And despite only earning 0.7pc of the vote share – a massive improvement on the 0.2pc she managed last time out – the octogenarian still has a taste for the arena of parliamentary politics.

She said: “At the count this time it was really warm and everyone around me, even Mike Gapes and the other Ilford South candidates, was happy to chat to me.

“I got talking to [Lib Dem candidate] Richard Clare – we both knew we weren’t going to win – and I asked him why he had decided to run.

“He just said ‘because I love it’, and I do too!”

And despite admitting her age was beginning to catch up with her, Doris certainly wouldn’t rule out running again a third time.

“I’ll be 92 if this government lasts, and that might be too old. But if it’s earlier than that I probably shall run again.

“My son keeps asking me what I’m going to do with the leaflets I have left over, and I could certainly use them again.

“None of them actually say 2017 on them!”

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