'I'd like to see politics nicer' says new Tory MP

'I'd like to see politics nicer' says new Tory MP

CONSERVATIVE Mark Eastwood took the Dewsbury seat from Labour incumbent Paula Sherriff on a night of massive Tory gains nationwide.

In a closely-fought two-horse race, Mr Eastwood polled 26,179 votes, with Ms Sherriff coming in second with 24,618.

Mr Eastwood, a local Tory activist for the last decade, had previously stood six times in Kirklees Council elections and took the seat in his first candidacy as a parliamentary hopeful.

He overturned Ms Sherriff’s 3,321 majority from 2017 and said winning was “a great feeling”.

“To coin a footballing phrase, I’m over the moon – very pleased,” he said.

Mr Eastwood acknowledged the “fantastic result” for the Tories both locally and nationally and put some of his success down to running a positive campaign in his home town.

“There has been quite a lot of unpleasantness in politics. Maybe Brexit has contributed to that,” he added.

“I would like to see politics be a bit nicer in the future.”

In a magnanimous acceptance speech, he paid tribute to Ms Sherriff for being a hard-working MP for the town and said there had never been a bad word between them.

He reiterated his pledge: “The first priority will be to get Brexit over the line.

“When you’re in a ‘Leave’ area where 57 per cent voted Leave, people want that vote respecting. We encountered a number of people on the doorstep who said they’d voted Labour all their lives who said they’d be switching to the Conservatives and I think that was reflected in the result.

“The unpopularity of Jeremy Corbyn was also a major issue. One chap said he was on the picket line with Arthur Scargill and said he’d be voting for me, which was pleasantly surprising.

“We knew it was going to be positive and we felt we could win it, but we knew it was going to be a tight result in the end.”

Looking to the future he said, “the hard work starts now” and, adopting the mantra of Boris Johnson, added: “Let’s get Brexit done.”

An exhausted-looking Paula Sherriff left Cathedral House in Huddersfield soon after the count without speaking to the media.

Mr Eastwood was sworn in as an MP in the House of Commons on Wednesday and told The Press he was settling in well to his new role.

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