Newly elected Bury North MP James Frith says that he will be an MP for everybody after his shock victory in the early hours of yesterday morning.
The Labour candidate won the seat with a majority of 4,375 over the Conservative candidate David Nuttall, who has held the seat since 2010.
The result was particularly sweet for Frith after his defeat to Nuttall in 2015, when he missed out by just 378 votes following a recount.
The news of Frith’s win was met by scenes of joyous celebration from many of his supporters at Castle Leisure Centre when it was announced at just after 2am.
In a passionate victory speech he told voters: “I will be a better voice for Bury North. I love this town and I will not let you down.”
Speaking to MM immediately after his victory, he said: “It feels amazing. It’s been a team effort.
“Two years ago we came very close and two years is enough time to recover and not forget, so when the snap election was called, we were able to get back and quickly assemble our efforts.
“After 2015, I had a pretty grown up conversation with my wife and she had a pretty grown up conversation with me but straight away we thought we’d do things slightly differently.
“We made a very deliberate choice to have a local campaign based on my life and living in Bury, and our rootedness in our community.
“Also, I think there was an appetite for an MP that was visible and part of the town. Clearly, that’s been borne out in the result.”
Bury North was the only seat in Greater Manchester to change hands on a night where Labour fared far better than many had expected.
One of the most marginal seats in the country, the constituency was one that the Conservatives expected to retain, and the result is one of a number of losses which means the party fell 8 seats shy of forming a majority government.
“I’ve yet to study the figures but I suspect that again, it’s against the national trend, as it was in 2015, so I’m very proud of the team effort,” said Frith.
“I think the Prime Minster will think that she’s made a howling error of judgement, I’d go so far as to say she’s been complacent and arrogant in terms of her position within her own party and the Conservative Party nationally, rather than doing what was best for the country.”
The 40-year-old, a former local councillor for Elton ward, campaigned with the promise of keeping the town’s walk-in centre open, as well as pledging to work alongside newly elected Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham to rewrite the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, a highly contentious scheme which proposes mass house building on vast swathes of green belt land around the region.
“I’ll be an MP for everybody, whether people voted for me or not. I’ll be an MP that helps the lives of people living in Bury North, in Tottington, in Ramsbottom, and in Bury.”
“We have been let down for seven years and there are consequences to austerity, consequences of which are felt tonight in results like ours here. People have said enough is enough.
“Economics is about humanity as well as the budget. I hope that comes out in the coming days in terms of an alternative vision that doesn’t try to balance the books off the back of the poor and then fail to balance the books, which the Tories have spent seven years doing.”