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Helen Hayes (L) poses with other Labour winners in London

Helen Hayes: London loyalty softens large Labour loss

By Aman Pathiara
December 13 2019, 08.30

South west London remained a strong area for Labour despite defeat in the General Election, with the party holding onto many historically safe seats.

In Dulwich and West Norwood, Labour MP Helen Hayes has been in power since 2015, and received almost four times the votes for the second-placed Green Party.

Ms Hayes highlighted the ‘devastating’ night for Labour nationally in what has been fought as a Brexit election, giving Boris Johnson the largest majority of any government since 1992.

Ms Hayes celebrated the notable addition of Putney in her victory speech. 

She said: “We’ve been working so hard locally together, not taking any result for granted. 

“I’m particularly delighted for Fleur Anderson in Putney. I supported her, members of my constituency supported her, so to make such a gain in south west London is brilliant for us all.”

The pro-Remain constituency of Putney is a big gain for the party, having been a Conservative safe seat since 2005.

However, for once, the constituency will be disappointed with the Tory victory, having backed Labour in the hope of a People’s Vote.

Ms Hayes said: “[Labour’s local] success obviously hasn’t been mirrored nationally. 

“This is a devastating night for our communities, who are living with the housing crisis, with cuts to our NHS and social care, with the hostile environment.

“It is devastating for our Remain community, who desperately wanted to vote again to stay in the European Union.

“It’s been a complex and difficult election, and the time for understanding what has gone wrong in different parts of the country will come in the coming weeks.”

“I’m really devastated to see the loss of so many respected, hard-working colleagues, and to see a Conservative government with a working majority. I obviously wanted a Labour government, this area needed one, so it’s now a process of building back.”

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