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Lib Dems deal major blow to Tories with by-election win

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Boris Johnson’s Tories have suffered a humiliating by-election defeat as the Liberal Democrats secured a historic win in Chesham and Amersham.

Lib Dem Sarah Green is the country’s newest MP after winning the seat, which has been a Conservative stronghold since its creation in 1974.

The contest was triggered by the death of former Cabinet minister Dame Cheryl Gillan, who took the seat with a majority of 16,233 in the 2019 general election – some 55% of the vote.

The stunning result saw Ms Green defeat Tory Peter Fleet by a majority of 8,028.

Ms Green said she was “humbled by the faith you have placed in me” and promised she would hold the Government to account.

In her acceptance speech she said: “Tonight the voice of Chesham and Amersham is unmistakable. Together we have said ‘Enough is enough, we will be heard and this government will listen’.

“This campaign has shown that no matter where you live, or how supposedly safe a constituency may appear to be, if you want a Liberal Democrat member of Parliament, you can have a Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament.

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“If you wish to reject Conservative mismanagement and vote for a voice that will represent you and stand up for your rights then it is the Liberal Democrats who will continue to fight your corner.”

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey said his party secured a huge swing of 25 points to win Chesham and Amersham, claiming: “The Tory Blue Wall is beginning to crumble.”

He said: “This is a huge victory for the Liberal Democrats. The people of Chesham and Amersham have sent a shockwave through British politics.

“We were told it was impossible for any party to beat the Tories here in Buckinghamshire. We were told this seat was too safe and the Tories too strong. This Liberal Democrat win has proved them utterly wrong.

“Across the south, the Tory Blue Wall is beginning to crumble. Here and in great swathes of the country, only the Liberal Democrats can beat the Conservatives and breach their Blue Wall.

“Sarah Green will be a great local champion for the people of Chesham and Amersham, and the Liberal Democrats will be a strong voice for everyone who feels let down and taken for granted by this dreadful Tory Government.

“This amazing win will strengthen our fight to safeguard our precious natural environment and build a fairer, greener, more caring country.”

Conservative candidate Peter Fleet secured 13,489 votes, putting him in second place
Image: Conservative candidate Peter Fleet secured 13,489 votes, putting him in second place

Mr Fleet acknowledged the need to rebuild “trust and understanding” with voters and also suggested the Tories had been out-campaigned by the Lib Dems.

“Clearly this was a very disappointing result, not the result that I was expecting nor my team,” he told reporters.

“It’s an absolutely extraordinary result which must take into account the fact that the Liberal Democrat party didn’t just throw the kitchen sink at this constituency, I think it was the microwave, the table, the oven, the dishwasher, the dog, the cat and anything else that was lying around as well.

“And we should consider that when we reflect upon the extraordinary nature of the result.”