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‘I hope we can be an example in Haringey’: Catherine West calls on country to pull together after ‘disappointing’ election night

PUBLISHED: 06:30 13 December 2019 | UPDATED: 15:30 13 December 2019

Catherine West. Picture: Sam Volpe

Catherine West. Picture: Sam Volpe

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She retained Hornsey and Wood Green, but Labour’s Catherine West used her victor’s speech to implore society to “come together” while she also put the focus on creating a “socially just Haringey”.

Cllrs Dawn Barnes and Tammy Palmer, who ran in Hornsey and Wood Green and Tottenham respectively for the Lib Dems. Picture: Sam VolpeCllrs Dawn Barnes and Tammy Palmer, who ran in Hornsey and Wood Green and Tottenham respectively for the Lib Dems. Picture: Sam Volpe

After thanking her team and the "volunteers of all parties who have pushed back at a difficult time to be in politics", the returning MP said: "There are two things I want to say about the paths we face. The first is just how divisive the Brexit debate has been."

Ms West, won the seat with 35,126 votes, but this was down on 2017's 40,738 as Lib Dem Dawn Barnes chipped away at the former Islington Council leader's majority.

Ms West added: "I think everyone in this room stands for bringing people together, and I hope that we can be an example of that in Haringey.

"Second, we need to talk about the context of the level of poverty we have. We cannot continue on this road. We need to put everything we have into tackling that."

Catherine West and David Lammy, who both held Haringey seats. Picture: Sam VolpeCatherine West and David Lammy, who both held Haringey seats. Picture: Sam Volpe

Cllr Barnes, who is also a councillor in Crouch End, told this newspaper after the result was declared: "It's an okay result.

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"Of course we would have like to have challenged more, but it's a swing towards us."

She said the national picture was of "Labour clearly failing with their message around the country".

Ms West said: "I think everyone in this room stands for bringing people together, and I hope that we can be an example of that in Haringey.

"Second, we need to talk about the context of the level of poverty we have. We cannot continue on this road. We need to put everything we have into tackling that."

Earlier in the evening, Ed McGuinness - the Tory candidate who came third - said: "It's been a pleasure to be the candidate for Hornsey and Wood Green. Success is first Boris getting a majority to get Brexit done, then Boris getting a majority he can work with, and then there's my seat. It's been really important to represent the Conservative voices here."

Before the seat was declared, Ms West told the Ham&High it was "very disappointing" to see the results come in, and that "some of it has been bad luck - where sitting MPs have retired - but it's not been good".

Later, one Labour figure added that "it's going to be a rocky road ahead - for the party and for the country".


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