‘Every breath in my lungs’: Labour’s Rayner vows to renew Ashton services cuts battle

Angela Rayner, Labour’s shadow education secretary, has defended her crown in Ashton-under-Lyne and says she will continue to fight with every breath in her lungs against cuts to local services.

Rayner received a huge 11,324 vote majority, a slight increase of 569 on her 2015 general election result.

Rayner was expected to win again this year considering her high profile position within the Labour party and the fact that Labour has held the seat since 1935.

In her acceptance speech Rayner said: “The last two years representing Ashton-under-Lyne has been a whirlwind for me, and many of you have been on that journey with me.

“It’s been quite a difficult and meteoric rise at times but I have never been more proud than when sat at the dispatch box or fighting your corner be it at parliament in London, or here in Ashton-under-Lyne.

“I am immensely proud of the people of Ashton, Droylsden and Failsworth who have been through so much in the two years that I’ve been your member of parliament.

“I lost a friend in Jo Cox, as a constituency we’ve cried together, we’ve laughed together, we’ve been through a lot with the attacks in Manchester just a few weeks ago

“It is clear that Britain has had enough of austerity and I will continue to fight with every breath in my lungs against cuts to our local services.

“I want to invest in our younger people, and our older people should never have to apologise for needing love, care and respect in their old age.

“Theresa May offered decline and more of the same whereas the Labour party offers hope, inspiration and we will invest in a better Britain for everyone, not just the privileged few.”

Rayner joined her fellow candidates Jonathan Reynolds and Andrew Gwynne and waited with them until Gwynne’s announcement for his campaign in Denton and Reddish.

Reynolds held his Labour seat in Stalybridge and Hyde and says he is looking forward to playing a part in the national picture that will be decided over the “next few hours.”

Reynolds received a comfortable 8086 vote majority, an increase of exactly 1400 votes from the 2015 general election and is his third election win in a row for the area winning in both 2010 and 2015 previously.

It has been over 20 years since any candidate from Stalybridge and Hyde has received over 20,000 votes and the area has been Labour since 1945.

Reynolds thanked his opponents for a free and fair election before saying: “Elections are important but this was an election that no one really wanted and no one really needed but it has ended in the most stunning rejection of the Conservative party and Theresa May.

“It has taught them a lesson to never put your own interests ahead of the national interest. It has been about her poor leadership but it has also been about the damage to places like Tameside over the last seven years.

“We do not know what the overall result will be but for a Prime Minister to call an election for the sole purpose of increasing her mandate and her majority in parliament and to be rejected on all sides is something that is a stunning event in British political history.”

After his speech had ended Reynolds hugged every Labour supporter he could find with a tired look on his face likely from both a lack of sleep and of exhaustion at the end of an intense election campaign.

Image courtesy of Angela Rayner via Twitter, with thanks.

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