Historic win for James
THE Conservatives have inflicted a historic loss in Labour’s traditional northern heartlands by turning Leigh blue for the first time ever.
Tory councillor James Grundy secured just under half of the votes to oust Jo Platt from the seat she has held since 2017, an earthquake that will send shockwaves through her party.
The former mining town had been held by the party for 97 years and comfortably by Andy Burnham until he stepped down to become Greater Manchester mayor.
Mr Grundy, the town’s first ever Tory MP, said the Labour leader was to blame for Ms Platt being unable to keep the seat.
“This shouldn’t be considered a fault on [Jo’s] behalf,” he said.
“Ninety-nine times out of a hundred Jo would’ve carried Leigh. On this occasion it was not to be because of anger over Brexit and anger at Jeremy Corbyn.
“Let us be clear - it’s his fault that Jo lost.”
Lisa Nandy has successfully defended Labour’s control of Wigan with a comfortable win at the polls.
The constituency is one of the party’s safest seats - with the winning candidate securing 21,042 votes.
This however is a decrease of 28 per cent on the last election in 2017.
She saw off competition from second place Conservative Ashley Williams, who got 14,314 votes.
Yvonne Fovargue held onto her Makerfield seat with another comfortable Labour victory.
The constituency is another of the party’s safest seats - with the winning candidate securing 19,954 votes.
Yvonne, who has held the seat since 2010, said it had been ‘quite a difficult election’, but she said a ‘few people have kept her going’ during the campaign. Yvonne thanked all those in Makerfield who voted for her and said she ‘wouldn’t let them down’.
Tory James Grundy with supporters in Leigh