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General Election 2019: South Cambridgeshire result - Conservative Anthony Browne wins seat

Conservative candidate Anthony Browne is the new MP for the Cambridgeshire South constituency.

He saw off a stiff challenge from Liberal Democrat Ian Sollom to hold the seat for the Conservatives.

Mr Browne won 46.3 per cent of the vote, while Dr Sollom secured 42 per cent.

Labour’s Dan Greef took 11.7 per cent of the vote.

The result was declared at 3.20am.

Anthony Browne elected (24139287)
Anthony Browne elected (24139287)

Here’s how the vote breaks down.

Speaking as the result was declared, Mr Browne said from the stage at Cambourne Village College: “We have now had one referendum, and two general election campaigns where the British public have voted for Brexit.

“It’s time we just get it over and done with and that we move on. We need to stop the fighting and just move on as a country – reunite the country – and move on to all the other issues that we need to focus on that affect our day to day lives.

“Now is the time to bring the country back together, not to divide them. This government must be a one nation government that rules in the interests of everyone in Britain from wherever they hail from, whatever their walks of life.”

Anthony Browne elected (24139278)
Anthony Browne elected (24139278)

Mr Browne told Cambridge Independent shortly afterwards: “I'm incredibly excited, I'm incredibly humbled and it's a great honour and privilege to be asked to represent in Parliament the voters of the constituency in which I grew up."

Earlier in the night Mr Browne had admitted to being nervous, and said after the declaration: “It was tight and we always knew it was going to be very difficult here. I think we had a lot of headwinds against us here, the Lib Dems were very strong and took the district council last year.

“The incumbent MP Heidi Allen left the Conservative Party to join the Liberal Democrats and then with Brexit, it is a pro-remain constituency, so the whole message of get Brexit done doesn’t play as well here as it does in other parts of the country, but we won.”

He continued: “I’ve spent in Parliament as a journalist and in my various jobs, so I know Parliament fairly well, but it will be an incredible honour to serve there as a Member of Parliament.”

To the people of South Cambridgeshire who voted Conservative, he said: “It’s been a long, hard campaign and I promise to do what I’ve been elected to do to fight with every ounce of my breath in the interests of the constituents of South Cambridgeshire.”

The 2019 General Election result in South Cambridgeshire (24140408)
The 2019 General Election result in South Cambridgeshire (24140408)

Dr Sollom, who turned up at the count less than half an hour before the results were declared, said he was “very disappointed, but hugely proud” after failing to take the seat from the Conservatives.

The Green Party had stepped aside in the constituency as part of the Unite to Remain alliance, chaired by former Cambridgeshire South MP Heidi Allen, who had defected from the Tories to later join the Liberal Democrats.

Dr Sollom said after the results had been declared: “I’m very disappointed, but hugely proud my campaign team and all the volunteers who helped. We gave it our best shot and we got a huge swing, but just couldn’t get it over the line.

Ian Sollom, the Liberal Democrat candidate for South Cambridgeshire at the 2019 General Election. Picture: Chris Sidell (24138385)
Ian Sollom, the Liberal Democrat candidate for South Cambridgeshire at the 2019 General Election. Picture: Chris Sidell (24138385)

“It’s the closest it’s ever been in South Cambridgeshire in what’s considered a Tory safe seat. I don’t think it’s a safe seat any more. I think we’ve brought a great campaign team who can take the Liberal Democrats in South Cambridgeshire places - and we’ve done brilliantly in local elections so there’s a basis on which to challenge in future elections. ”

On his future plans, Dr Sollom, who was suffering from a cold, said: “Let’s get through tonight, and through this cold - winter elections perhaps aren’t suited to me. But I’ll be carrying on as a district councillor and there’s lots of important work to do with the Greater Cambridge Partnership and the district council itself.”

It was a night of triumph for the Tories as they swept Labour aside.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he would not lead the party to another General Election.

Mr Greef, who earlier in the night had avoided commenting on Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party’s future, responded to the news: “Without Jeremy we wouldn’t have had such amazing, progressive policies. I think he has been somebody of integrity and he has campaigned on what he has believed his whole life, and I’m going to really miss him - I really respect him.

“But now we have to think about what’s going to happen next and in all honesty, I’ve got no idea what’s going to happen. We have to talk with each other, listen to what the country is saying, and go from there.”

South Cambridgeshire Labour Parliamentary Candidate Dan Greef. (24135902)
South Cambridgeshire Labour Parliamentary Candidate Dan Greef. (24135902)

Mr Greef was standing in the constituency for the third time, and when asked if he would stand again, he said: “I don’t honestly know right now. The Labour Party is a democratic organisation and it’s up to them to decide who the next candidate is.

“This time I was unopposed, but I don’t know. I’m interested in standing again and I want to fight for the Labour Party, I want to fight for a Labour government and so, I’ll have to wait and see.”

Paying tribute to the members of the public who voted for him, Mr Greef said: “Thank you so much for your support. I know you were bombarded with leaflets, bombarded with tactical information, which has split the vote if anything else, but thank you.

“We’ve got to keep fighting for the Britain that we believe in and if we don’t keep fighting where will the NHS be in a few years time? Where will schools who are already writing begging letters to parents in the future?

“So we have to fight for what we believe in and thank you for the support, every single Labour vote counts and it means everything to me.”

Read more

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