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Former Labour MP and Christian slams 'depressing' by-election results

by Donna Birrell

A Christian former Labour MP says his party could have won Boris Johnson’s former constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip if it had focused more on issues affecting communities.

Stephen Pound, who was MP for Ealing North until 2019, says concentrating on the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) which will mean locals paying £12.50 a day to drive in London, was a missed opportunity when there are so many issues affecting ordinary people.

Despite a 6.7 per cent swing to Labour, the Tories managed to capitalise on local anger over the planned expansion of the ULEZ, winning the seat  by just 495 votes.

However Labour made history overturning a more than 20,000 majority to take the seat of Selby and Ainsty in Yorkshire. 25 year old Keir Mather has now become Britain’s youngest MP.

Stephen Pound told Premier: “It was a good night in the fact that we won this extraordinary result up in Selby, which was wasquite amazing. The 20,000 majority is quite stunning, but you would expect me to accentuate the positive rather than refer to the negative.

“We had a real problem in Uxbridge and South Ruislip and in many ways, it's very, very depressing. We lost on a single issue, no question about that. And I have to say, it was depressing that we didn't think about the future. There was no hope in that by-election. When you think of the huge issues that are facing us in the country to date, principally immigration, the way we treat minorities, the way the cost of living is impacting on family life, the crushing impact of the cost of living crisis on the structure of the family, the pressures that I see every week in my community, none of that was discussed, instead of which it was people paying 12 pounds to drive into Ruislip. That very, very depressing. I wish we could have raised our game a bit. The Tories dived into the gutter on that, but Labour unfortunately stood by and watched them.

“So it was a pretty awful night for the Tories, but not a great night for Labour either.”

The Conservatives also lost the seat of Somerton and Frome in Somerset to the Lib Dems, who overturned a majority of more than 19,000.



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