Labour’s Neil Coyle has held on to his seat in Bermondsey and Old Southwark after almost trebling his majority.
The MP managed to fight off veteran Liberal Democrat Sir Simon Hughes to win a 12,972 majority – almost treble that of his 4,489 majority in 2015.
The new father was beaming from ear to ear at Southwark Council’s Tooley Street offices long before the result was called, having watched Labour storm seats across the country throughout the night.
Speaking to the News after the result was announced, he vowed to “get stuck in” with saving the China Hall in Rotherhithe – one of the many under-threat community pubs in Southwark – and to make sure Millwall continued to get the support it needed to secure its future.
“I’m over the moon,” he said. “I think this is the best borough, in the best city, in the best country and for people to put their trust in me in greater numbers in just two years.”
Mr Coyle admitted he was surprised it wasn’t a closer race with Sir Simon, who he unseated in 2015 despite the fact the Lib Dem had served 32 years as MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark.
“I was surprised; I thought it would be closer last time and this time,” he said.
“I thought that people would put that trust in me and in the Labour party and it’s very reassuring that the British public can’t be hoodwinked.
“I’m proud to be re-elected to serve Bermondsey and Old Southwark.”
Mr Coyle’s Labour colleague Harriet Harman, re-elected as MP for Camberwell and Peckham with a huge majority of 37,316 this election, admitted she had “underestimated” party leader Jeremy Corbyn in her victory speech this morning.
When asked whether he too felt the same, Mr Coyle, an open critic of Corbyn, said: “I think I underestimated the enthusiasm he has generated among many young people.
“Just because of the tuition fee policy, we had more young people. They were desperate not to be saddled with debt and to have more opportunities in the future.”
Mr Coyle also called for Tory prime minister Theresa May to resign or to “rethink as a minimum”.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also called for the prime minister to resign following his re-election as MP for Islington North today.
Theresa May has faced criticism for calling a snap election after she vowed not to – which has backfired resulted in a hung parliament after a Jeremy Corbyn poll bounce across the country.
Bermondsey and Old Southwark (67% turnout)
- Neil Coyle (Labour) 31,161
- Simon Hughes (Lib Dems) 18,189
- Siobhan Baillie (Conservative) 7,581
- Elizabeth Jones (UKIP) 838
- James Clarke (Independent) 113
- John Tyson (Green) 639
Majority = 12,972 (+8,483 votes/+189%)