ROTHER VALLEY: Conservatives take seat from Labour for first time in constituency's 102 year history

The first Tory to win Rother Valley in the seat's 101 year history has said his victory means ‘everywhere is up for grabs’.

Friday, 13th December 2019, 5:05 am
Updated Friday, 13th December 2019, 4:14 pm
Voters have elected a Conservative time for the first time in Rother Valley's history

The first Tory to win Rother Valley in the seat's 101 year history has said his victory means "everywhere is up for grabs".

The South Yorkshire seat had returned a Labour candidate in every election since it was created in 1918 until Friday morning when 32-year-old Alex Stafford won with a majority of 6,000 over his Labour rival, Sophie Wilson.

Mr Stafford was not born when Labour stalwart Sir Kevin Barron, who retired ahead of the election, was first elected in 1983.

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Speaking after his victory, he said: "I think it shows there's no such area as a safe Labour area.

"Across the country we're seeing these huge Labour majorities falling.

"People are tired of the same old Labour."

He added: "Everywhere is up for grabs."

Mr Stafford said he believed Labour had taken Rotherham for granted but he had knocked on 8,000 doors in the campaign.

He said: "Fundamentally, they just wanted to be listened to and have their voice heard."

Mr Stafford, who has worked for WWF and Shell in energy and sustainability, said: "I think the people of Rother Valley have clearly spoken.

"They want Brexit and they want it enacted."

Labour's Sarah Champion and John Healey retained the other two seats in the Rotherham borough - Rotherham and Wentworth & Dearne respectively - but with their majorities slashed.