General Election 2019: Mike Freer retains Finchley and Golders Green seat

Mike Freer learns of his victory. Picture: Polly Hancock

Mike Freer learns of his victory. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Tory MP Mike Freer has battled his way to victory in Finchley and Golders Green, improving on his majority from 2017.

Mr Freer beat Lib Dems opponent Luciana Berger by 6,562 votes, receiving 24,162 in total. Labour's vote collapsed in the constituency with their candidate Ross Houston coming a distant third with 13,347 votes.

Mr Freer, who has held the seat since 2010 and campaigned on getting a Conservative majority to allow Britain to leave the EU, thanked his team, supports, and husband Angelo.

It was a tight race, according to Tory sources, which saw his majority rise - he had a cushion of just 1,657 votes in 2017 - but his vote share drop by 3.1 per cent.

He said: "This is the fourth time I've been elected as MP and I'm thankful for all the support people trusted in me.

"I'll be returning to parliament with a working Conservative majority, meaning parliament can get back to work.

"I'll redouble my efforts to deliver on my pledges on housing, and keeping our community safe and working to strengthen our NHS.

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"Above all, I'll continue to be accessible to my constituents and work for everyone."

The election has been a key battleground in London, courting plenty of media attention.

Ms Berger's candidacy secured a number of high-profile endorsements, including Hugh Grant and Jason Isaacs.

The former Labour MP received 17,600 votes, securing the Lib Dems their best ever performance in a seat which has traditionally been contested between Labour and the Conservatives.

A teary Ms Burger thanked her supporters at Allianz Park, early on Friday morning (December 13).

Labour had its worst result in the seat since its formation in 1997, losing 9,595 votes.

Its candidate, West Finchley councillor Ross Houston, failed to claw back Labour voters who were concerned about the party's track record on antisemitism and its tax and spending plans.

Mr Houston said: "The Labour Party needs to rebuild its relationship with the Jewish community.

"We need to have an independent process for dealing with equalities complaints such as sexism, racism, and antisemitism, which is long overdue.

"I also think we need to look at our programme under a new leader and need a period of reflection."

Mr Houston said he would back Holborn and St Pancras MP Keir Starmer in a Labour leadership contest.

He said: "I think we need someone with gravitas to step into the role and take us forward and implement the decision that comes out of the equalities and human rights enquiry.

"As a former director of public prosecutions, I think people will believe in him to be able to do that."

In Chipping Barnet, sitting Tory MP Theresa Villiers boosted her majority to 1,209, beating Labour opponent Emma Whysall who almost clinched the seat in 2017 when she lost by 353 votes.

Lib Dem Isabella Parasram received 5,632 votes, followed Gabrielle Bailey (Green Party, 1,288) and John Sheffield (Advance Together, 71).

In Hendon, Conservative Matthew Offord retained the constituency, beating Labour by more than 4,000 votes.