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General Election 2019: Politicians across Redbridge react to yesterday’s vote

PUBLISHED: 15:16 13 December 2019 | UPDATED: 15:16 13 December 2019

Redbridge Council chief executive Andy Donald about to announce the winner of the Ilford North election on Thursday, December 12 2019. Picture: Redbridge Council

Redbridge Council chief executive Andy Donald about to announce the winner of the Ilford North election on Thursday, December 12 2019. Picture: Redbridge Council

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Politicians from across the political spectrum have been sharing their views on the results of yesterday’s general election.

Across the UK prime minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party returned the biggest majority since Tony Blair in 2001, whilst the Labour Party posted its worst national results in more than 80 years.

But Redbridge bucked that trend somewhat, returning three Labour MPs in Ilford South, Ilford North and Leyton & Wanstead, while avid campaigner Faiza Shaheen came within 1,300 votes of unseating Conservative heavy hitter Iain Duncan Smith.

Responding to the results on Friday, December 13, Labour Councillor Kam Rai, deputy leader of Redbridge Council, told the Recorder: "I want to thank local party members for their hard work in our borough and in other seats during the election, and I'm pleased we held onto our three seats in Redbridge.

"I am however angry we have to face five more years of a Tory government while we have a crisis in homelessness, a decimation of public services and ever increasing poverty hurting our residents.

"On a national level the Labour Party failed our communities by not presenting a convincing enough vision which our nation could get behind, something we must learn from."

Similarly, the borough's Conservative London Assembly member Keith Prince told the Recorder he was "over the moon" at his party's national performance, but felt there were lessons that could be learned closer to home.

He said: "In London, not that much changed - some seats did change hands but overall it seemed to balance out more or less.

"Boris was a great Mayor of London, because he proved that he had a social conscience and now I think he has a chance to show that softer side, because he is not as beholden to certain elements of the party.

"I think in London we need voters to see that softer side of him, because there are big issues in London that we need to tackle - and I'm not just talking about crime.

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"Beneath the buffoonery and some of the other things he had to do to keep MPs on side he does have that social conscience that I think people in London will vote for, so now we need to see that more."

Several Redbridge politicians also took to Twitter to pay tribute to veteran Ilford South politician Mike Gapes, who until last night had been the constituency's member of Parliament for 27 years.

Fresh from holding Ilford North, Labour MP Wes Streeting tweeted: "Congratulations to Sam Tarry [the Labour candidate who won Ilford South].

"I have known Sam for many years and I know he will work very hard for Ilford South.

"And best wishes to Mike Gapes, whose years of dedicated public and political service in Ilford is unmatched.

"I honestly wouldn't have been in Parliament without Mike."

Former Conservative councillor for Snaresbrook Colin Cronin also tweeted: "Back when I joined Redbridge Council your words of advice and welcome at Mayor making were incredibly welcome - I hope residents recognise your true love and service!"

And Redbridge Council's cabinet member for housing Cllr Farah Hussain added: "Mike Gapes became my MP when I was one year old.

"He personified Ilford for so long.

"While we have disagreed on much recently, I will forever be grateful for his support on housing issues.

"Mike, you and your team should be proud of the positive campaign you ran."


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