FORMER Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff has told of the “crater-sized hole” in her life after losing her seat in last month’s General Election.
In her first interview since her defeat she told the Yorkshire Post: “I didn’t have a day off in the entire six or seven-week campaign. I didn’t even take half a day off – I couldn’t have done any more.”
Miss Sherriff conceded she knew her chances of retaining the Dewsbury seat, which she had held since 2015, were minimal when she first saw the exit poll.
“I knew then that I’d lost. It was about national swing unfortunately.
“Everybody in the room was saying ‘you’ll be fine’, they said Dewsbury would buck the trend.
“I said ‘we’ve lost, we need to accept it’.”
Her fears were confirmed in the early hours of December 13, when it was announced Tory Mark Eastwood had taken the seat by a majority of 1,561.
“It was heartbreaking,” she said. “You can’t move away from the fact that the people rejected you, that’s what an election is all about, there’s got to be losers.
“You literally just want to hide away and go where nobody knows you. Politics is absolutely brutal, you can’t compare it to anything.”
As Miss Sherriff looks towards a life outside of politics for the foreseeable future, she reflected on her time in Parliament.
“I don’t regret anything and I don’t regret any (of my) votes,” she said.
“I was a really diligent MP. I don’t want to sound arrogant but I gave it everything.”