Election 2017: Labour's Wes Streeting retains Ilford North dramatically increasing his majority
PUBLISHED: 05:47 09 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:42 09 June 2017
Labour's Wes Streeting has retained his Ilford North seat, defeating odds on favourite Lee Scott with a majority of just under 10,000.
Mr Streeting gained 30,589 votes, beating Tory candidate Mr Scott into second place with 20,950.
The Liberal Democrats’ Richard Clare came third with 1,034 and 87-year-old independent candidate Doris Osen came fourth with 368 – almost quadrupling the number of votes she received in 2015.
With an incredible turnout of 53,050 – the highest number since at least the 1970s – the Labour incumbent dramatically improved his vote share, in what was predicted to be an ultra tight marginal.
Speaking about his party’s gains Mr Streeting said he was “gobsmacked by the result in Ilford North and across the country”.
“I don’t mind admitting that envisioned a Tory majority of 50 to 70 seats.”
Mr Streeting said the Labour Party had to now “come together” and look at the successes and failures.
He continued: “This election shows you cannot take voters for granted.
“Theresa May said she was strong and stable but has proved to be weak and wobbly.”
The Labour MP said his focuses in the constituency would be making sure King George Hospital’s A&E does not close, ensuring no schools have their funding cut, and tackling anti-social behaviour.
The Recorder asked Mr Streeting, who has been a staunch critic of Jeremy Corbyn, if Labour’s performance across the country meant he would back the Labour leader.
He refused to be drawn on whether Mr Corbyn would get his full support, but agreed the Islington North MP had “energised” voters.
Mr Streeting said: “Speaking honestly people have been mixed about Jeremy Corbyn.
“There are people who have been excited and energised by what he has said, particularly amongst younger voters across the country.”
Mr Scott, who represented Ilford North from 2005 and 2015, congratulated Mr Streeting and echoed his comments that serving “Ilford North was a pleasure and a privilege”.