By Kiro Evans, Local Democracy Reporter
The Conservatives have held onto their Bexley seat despite their majority tumbling.
Louie French has become Conservative MP after claiming victory by 4,478 votes in Old Bexley and Sidcup.
He replaces the late James Brokenshire, who died from lung cancer aged 53 in October.
The expected win for the Tories saw their majority fall from almost 20,000, with the vote also seeing a turnout of only 34%.
Mr French gained 11,189 votes while his nearest competitior, Labour candidate Daniel Francis, gained 6,711.
In 2019, Mr Brokenshire gained over 29,000 votes with an overall turnout of 70%.
Winning candidate Louie French committed to serving the people of Old Bexley and Sidcup during his victory speech.
He said: “I’m incredibly proud of the campaign that my team and I ran based on London issues which matter to the people that live here, and tonight those people sent a clear message.
“They want an MP to work with Government to deliver on their priorities. My focus will now be delivering on those promises I made during the campaign.
“Getting our fair share of London police officers, securing more investment for local schools and hospitals, protecting our precious green spaces and standing up to the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and his outer London tax, plans that would hit key workers and families here in Bexley and across London.
“These are the priorities of the people who live here and these are the issues I’ve campaigned on and heard come up time and time again on the doorstep.”
Reacting to the result, Labour MP for Lewisham West and Penge Ellie Reeves tweeted: “A fantastic 10.3% swing to Labour in the Conservative heartland of Old Bexley and Sidcup.
“If replicated at a general election Labour would be within reach of forming a majority government.”
The Old Bexley and Sidcup seat has been held continuously by the Conservatives since its creation in 1983.
Along with Mr Brokenshire, former Prime Minister Sir John Major also represented the seat while in parliament.
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