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Emily Thornberry warns ‘the fight is just starting’ after election win

'I promise you this, I will do all that I can to protect you'

13 December, 2019 — By Sam Ferguson

EMILY Thornberry warned “the fight is just starting” after winning the Islington South and Finsbury constituency for the fifth time.

The Labour MP returned 26,897 votes, down from 2,935 in 2017, but taking a 56.3 per cent share on a turnout of 61.8 per cent.

Speaking at the count in the Sobell Leisure Centre, in Holloway this morning (Friday), Ms Thornberry said: “I feel distraught that we have lost so many great comrades in Parliament and I also feel so disappointed for all the brilliant candidates I’ve met around the country who will have to wait for their time to be in Parliament.”

Ms Thornberry said she had been reminded of the words of former Labour leader Neil Kinnock in 1983, who sent a “warning” to the country about what dangers a Conservative majority Government would bring, adding: “This duplicitous, gutless, reckless Prime Minister has been elected on one issue alone, wrapping himself in the lie that he is the only person to get Brexit done.

“But the danger we all now face is that he will feel empowered to dictate our country’s direction on every issue. We may be hurting tonight, but we are not beaten. We will tell Boris Johnson: No.

“Our fight is not over, our fight is just starting and we will fight with the same spirit we showed.

“We will fight with the same courage that my friend Jeremy [Corbyn] showed, and we will fight with the same unity the party showed throughout the election campaign, and when Boris Johnson tries to drive through extreme-right policies on Brexit, on public services, on welfare, on workers’ rights, on environmental protections, we will fight him all the way.”

Thanking Islington South and Finsbury voters, she added: “I promise you this, I will do all that I can to protect you.”

Ms Thornberry declined to speak to any press after her speech.

Runner-up, Lib Dem Kate Pothalingam, scooped 20 per cent of the vote with 9,569 votes – a rise of 7.9 per cent.

Kate Pothalingam

She said: “We were getting a super reaction on the doorsteps in Islington. I think people were prepared to send a message with their vote.”

Conservative candidate Jason Charalambous earned 16.8 per cent of the vote with 8,045 – figures that represent a 3.8 per cent drop on 2017.

Speaking before the count, Mr Charalambous said: “My satisfaction and joy will come from seeing so many of my colleagues elected and having a majority when we wake up in the morning.”

Green Party candidate Talia Hussain took 1,987 votes – 4.2 per cent of the ballot and 1.7 per cent up on 2017.

With the St George’s ward council by-election count taking place later today (Friday) in Islington, the Greens admitted they were prioritising a win there.

“It’s a realistic chance to double the number of the opposition on the council,” said Ms Hussain.

Paddy Hannam, for the Brexit party, won 1,136 votes, 2.4 per cent of the vote share and a 2.4 per cent rise on the last election.

Also at the count were the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, represented by Lord Sandys of Bunhill, who attracted 182 votes. There were 171 spoiled ballots and 70,489 registered voters.

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