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LABOUR’S Ruth Jones has said that her victory in the Newport West by-election shows that people “have had enough” of austerity.
She received 9,308 votes last night giving her a majority of 1,951 in the by-election triggered by the death of veteran Labour MP Paul Flynn.
The Tories’ candidate Matthew Evans came second with 7,357 votes and Ukip’s Neil Hamilton took third place with 2,023 votes.
Ms Jones said: “This by-election has taken place because of the sad passing of Paul Flynn, our friend.
“There have been many tributes to him over the weeks, but one saying stood out to me: ‘Everyone knew someone helped by Paul Flynn.’ These words have been an inspiration to me during this campaign.”
She added: “Who knows what the next few days, weeks and months will bring. But what I do know is that people have had enough after a decade of austerity.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn welcomed the victory and said that Ms Jones – a former president of the Wales Trade Union Congress –will be a “fantastic successor to Paul Flynn.”
He added: “Tonight’s result sends a clear message that the people of Newport and Wales are fed up of austerity which has robbed the Welsh economy of £1 billion through needless cuts, and shows support for Labour’s alternative.”
Voter turnout was low at 37.1 per cent, down from 67.5 per cent in the 2017 general election, with parties blaming poor weather including rain and hail.
Ms Jones campaigned for Remain in the lead-up to the EU referendum while the city of Newport voted Leave by a margin of 56 per cent to 44 per cent.
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