Election 2017: Rushanara Ali MP celebrates 'expression of hope over fear' as Labour re-elected in Bethnal Green and Bow
PUBLISHED: 14:33 09 June 2017 | UPDATED: 15:01 09 June 2017
The newly re-elected Bethnal Green and Bow MP described her overwhelming win as an "expression of hope over fear" as she swept to power with a nearly 11 per cent increase on her majority.
Labour’s Rushanara Ali gave a moving speech at the ExCel Centre count at 5am this morning after scooping a whopping 42,969 votes - a 71.8pc share - to remain in the seat she has held since 2010.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this victory is an expression of hope over fear,” she said, referencing the London Bridge terror attacks of last Saturday, the third such atrocity in the UK in less than three months.
“It’s also an expression of solidarity and social cohesion,” she continued. “It’s about the desperate need for fairness, equality and justice.”
Ms’ Ali’s speech to exhilarated campaigners and party members reflected the spirit of hope in Labour’s campaign nationally, with the party set to gain 29 seats and the Conservatives losing 12.
Ms Ali also made sure to distinguish this year’s from the electoral malpractice of 2014, when Lutfur Rahman was found guilty of “corrupt and illegal” practice in the Tower Hamlets mayoral election and removed from office.
“Thanks to our amazing police who made sure we had a fair election,” she said, describing the force as our “pride and joy”. This year officers were stationed at every one of the 77 polling stations in Tower Hamlets in a bid to prevent any further electoral fraud.
She also made what appeared to be a pointed reference to an unnamed fellow candidate, remarking:
“I want to thank my fellow candidates who fought fair and hard and especially those who ran honourable, clean and responsible campaigns free from smears and misinformation.”
The Conservative’s general election first-timer Charlotte Chirico came second, winning 12.7pc of the votes with 7,576 (down from 15.2pc), while Independent Ajmal Masroor followed in third with 6.5pc or 3,888 votes.
Representing the Liberal Democrats, William Dyer won 5pc (2,982), marginally up from the party’s performance in 2015. Alistair Polson of the Green Party dropped from third to fifth, winning just 2.5pc of the vote compared to 9.3pc. Newcomer Ian de Wulverton, Ukip, reflected the drop in party support across the country, winning just 1.5pc (894 votes).
Turnout in the constituency was 64pc, up 1.6pc from the 2015 general election.