Tue, 20 Jun 2017
LABOUR received its highest vote share in Newbury since 1974, with Alex Skirvin getting 8,596 votes.
However, the 14.1 per cent share, wasn’t enough to beat the Liberal Democrats into second place.
Speaking after the result was announced in the early hours of Friday, Mr Skirvin said he was proud to have stood for the party and thanked all who had taken part.
He said: “Consider the campaign we have fought.
“We knocked on more doors and delivered more leaflets and we painted the town red.
“Though we did not win, in seats like this, it is the small victories that matter.
“I’m proud to have stood not just as one of the UK’s youngest candidates, but as the Labour Party’s youngest LGBT candidate in the UK.
“Tonight, across the country, we have seen yet another example of what happens when politicians fail to listen. Theresa May bet the house on a Brexit election and Britain called her bluff.
“And for all those here tonight, let me offer you one final assurance; Newbury Labour has arrived.”
The party saw a 5.7 per cent increase on the vote share from 2015. Party agent Alan Childs told the NWN it was Labour’s best result in terms of vote share in the constituency since 1974; when it received 16.7 per cent of the vote.
Mr Childs said: “There’s an appetite in Newbury for Labour policies when they’re presented with them and the party has grown five-fold over the last few years.
“It shows that the people of Newbury constituency, who previously were unable to vote for a party that wasn’t cutting through on the doorstep, is now able to compete for votes everywhere in the Newbury area.”
As the dust settled and Mrs May entered a confidence and supply deal with the Irish DUP, Mr Skirivn told the NWN on
Tuesday that the Prime Minister was on borrowed time.
“We are now seeing what a true coalition of chaos looks like,” he said.” Had Theresa May sought to govern in the national interest rather than party interests, she would have sought an agreement with parties that would not put at risk our arrangement with Northern Ireland and the rights of minorities in the UK.
“Our placeholder PM has demonstrated once again where her priorities lie, clinging on to her position at all costs.
“We need a negotiating position for Brexit that will put jobs and the economy first.
“I agree with most of her backbenchers, who know she is on borrowed time. She should resign. Theresa May called this election and framed it as a referendum on herself and she lost. She can’t command the confidence of her own party or our country; she must go.
“I wonder if Richard Benyon is proud to see his party enter a formal arrangement with the DUP, known for bigotry and
Mr Skirvin added that the PM was “playing with fire” over the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.
He said another election was looking likely and that Labour was ready to fight it; saying that his party was the only one that could offer “a progressive alternative”.
He added that people had identified with Labour’s manifesto, which had “a genuine resonance with people and their lives. Whereas the Conservatives’ was, even by their own admission, a disaster with nothing positive to offer for the future of our country”.