Emotional Tory victory in Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election

Louie French, who wore late MP James Brokenshire’s blue rosette, has been elected to parliament with 11,189 votes.
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Conservative candidate Louie French has won the Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election with a reduced majority.

Mr French, who wore late MP James Brokenshire’s blue rosette, has been elected to parliament with 11,189 votes and a majority of 4,478 - slashed from close to 19,000.

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The new Tory MP, a former local councillor, has vowed he will give up his City job and serve as a full-time member of the Commons, following a sleaze scandal enveloping his party in the run-up to the vote after an attempt to avoid the suspension of now-former MP Owen Paterson.

The Conservatives achieved just over a 50% share of the vote, compared to Labour’s just above 30%.

Delivering his victory speech, Mr French paid tribute to much-loved local MP Mr Brokenshire, who died of lung cancer in October, aged 53, and vowed to prioritise green spaces, schools, hospitals and taking on London’s Labour mayor, Sadiq Khan.

He said: “I’d like to pay tribute to my friend James Brokenshire.

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“He made an enormous impact on everyone who lives here and as your member of parliament I will work tirelessly to build on everything he achieved.

“I can’t put into words how much the support of his wife Cathy has meant to me during this campaign, and her strength and bravery throughout has been inspiring.

“It’s been a huge honour to wear Jame’s rosette tonight in tribute to my good friend.”

He added: "I will work tirelessly and I will not let you down. This is the greatest honour of my life.

“Bexley is the borough of aspiration."

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Mr French’s rival, Labour’s Daniel Francis, took 6,711 votes and told LondonWorld he intends to continue serving as a local councillor.

He said: “It’s a very good result for us here and suggests we’re going back onto the path of forming a government.”

The Reform UK party’s Richard Tice, placed third, with 1,432 votes.

Turnout in the December 2 by-election was 34%.

A total of 21,787 votes were cast.

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