Brexit party denied first Parliament seat by Labour

Brexit party denied first Parliament seat by Labour

Labour narrowly held on to a parliamentary seat in Peterborough seeing off a challenge from Nigel Farage's insurgent Brexit Party to win by less than 700 votes.

The Brexit Party, which only launched in April, swept to victory in the United Kingdom's European Parliament election last month, riding a wave of anger over Prime Minister Theresa May's failure to deliver Brexit on time.

It had hoped to replicate that success by winning its first seat in the British parliament at the election in Peterborough, which supported Brexit by 61% to 39% in the 2016 referendum.

Labour candidate Lisa Forbes won with 10,484 votes, while the Brexit Party, who were the bookmakers' favourite, came second on 9,801 votes. May's governing Conservatives came third with 7,243 votes.

"Despite differing opinions across our city, the fact that the Brexit Party have been rejected here in Peterborough shows that the politics of division will not win," Forbes said in her victory speech.

Almost three years since Britain voted 52% to 48% to leave the European Union, lawmakers remain at loggerheads over how, when or even whether to leave the EU.May is quitting after failing to get her Brexit deal approved and the prospect of a "no-deal" exit has become central to the battle to replace her.

Forbes, who backed remaining in the EU in 2016 but said she respects the result of the referendum, said May's successor should restart government talks with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn that failed to find a way through the deadlock on Brexit.

"They should reach out straight away to the other parties," she told Sky News. "I'll support a deal that won't make our constituents poorer, that protects their jobs, protects living standards."

Published: by Radio NewsHub
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