General Election 2019: Labour's double triumph in Luton

Labour held on to both Luton Parliamentary seats on a night when the party's hopes of seeing Jeremy Corbyn become Prime Minister were dashed.

Friday, 13th December 2019, 4:16 am
Updated Friday, 13th December 2019, 4:18 am
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Two new faces will be representing the town at Westminster.

Borough councillor Rachel Hopkins won in Luton South with 21,787 votes.

And newcomer Sarah Owen clinched victory in Luton North with 23,496 votes.

Councillor Hopkins success meant defeat for Gavin Shuker, who had served as Luton South MP since 2010.

Mr Shuker was one of the rebel MPs who quit the Labour Party in February to join Change UK, and decided to stand as an independent in June.

Conservative Parvez Akhtar came second in Luton South polling 13,031 votes, while Mr Shuker was third with 3,893.

Garry Warren got 1,601 for the Brexit Party, while Ben Foley, of the Green Party received 995.

Another independent candidate and former Labour borough councillor Mohammed Ashraf had 489 votes and Best4Luton candidate John French 268.

Sarah Owen took the Luton North seat held by councillor Hopkins father, Kelvin.

He retired at this election, having obtained nearly 30,000 votes at the last election.

Conservative Jeet Bains came second with 14,249 votes, with Liberal Democrat Linda Jack third on 2,063.

The Brexit Party's Sudhir Sharma was fourth on 1,215 and Simon Hall in fifth for the Green Party with 771.

Independent Muhammad Rehman polled 646 votes and Serena Laidley of the Women’s Equality Party 149.

Councillor Hopkins said she was absolutely delighted with "a really positive result" for Luton South.

"To be a born and bred Lutonian it's really special and to be chosen by the people of your town.

"Nationally it's more difficult for the party. I will be fighting for all the communities in Luton.

"I will be standing up for all the public services and the NHS."

She admitted that she hadn't always planned to follow in her father's footsteps.

And locally she plans to continue campaigning for improvements to Luton Railway Station and with the work within the town to tackle poverty.

Mr Shuker said he was disappointed to no longer be representing the local community in his town.

He acknowledged that the decision he took earlier in the year was a factor in the outcome.

Sarah Owen, who's expecting a baby girl next year, said she was "obviously delighted" to be elected as Luton North MP and "is keen to get on with the job".

She vowed to "fight tooth and nail for every penny of investment" for the town.

"There are alot of issues which require immediate attention, from housing to crime to GP shortages," she explained.

"These have all been raised on the doorstep. It will be hard to get funding with a Tory majority for these public services after ten years of cuts."

In 2017, Mr Hopkins had a majority of just over 14,000 in Luton North, while Mr Shuker's majority was just under 14,000.