General Election 2019: Dawn Butler sweeps to victory fending off Conservative rival during a heavy night of loss for Labour

Dawn Butler retained her seat in Brent Central. Picture: Nathalie Raffray

Dawn Butler retained her seat in Brent Central. Picture: Nathalie Raffray - Credit: Archant

Labour’s Dawn Butler has marched to victory in Brent Central, winning the seat for the fourth time.

Liberal Democrats Deborah Unger and Paul Lorber

Liberal Democrats Deborah Unger and Paul Lorber - Credit: Archant

The 50-year-old shadow secretary of state for women and equalities won with 31,779 votes, compared with 38,208 in the 2017 election and 29,216 in 2015.

The evening saw big losses for Labour across the country, particularly in former Labour heartlands in the north.

Speaking from the stage at the Brent Civic Centre after getting her result, Ms Butler thanked activists for their support and said: "I'm sorry and disappointed at the result.

"It's really hard when you have your surgeries and your constituents come to see you and they are struggling to eat, struggling to heat their homes, struggling to pay the rent.

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"We have a rise of foodbanks in Brent and I fear that will get worse."

She added: "I'm sorry for the country, I'm sorry for the result and I'm sorry that we didn't do it and we haven't got a Labour government.

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"But we will fight on and we'll fight on to make this country fairer and make this country better."

Ms Butler had fought a low-key campaign in a seat where she was always the favourite to win.

Instead she spent time travelling around the country campaigning in marginal Labour seats.

Conservative David Brescia finished second with 10,909 votes.

In a national election dominated by the Brexit issue he was the only Leave candidate in the constituency, which voted 60/40 to remain.

Deborah Unger, of the Liberal Democrats, finished third with 4,844 votes, which she said her party could "build on in Brent and break the Labour stranglehold in the council".

Green Party's William Relton's lost his deposit, coming fourth with 1,600 votes.

Turnout was down on 2017 with 58.74 per cent, or 49,358 voters, compared with 65.25pc in 2017.

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