Burnley MP Julie Cooper said she was grateful to the people of Burnley and Padiham for choosing “hope over hate” after a comprehensive election win.
Mrs Cooper almost doubled her majority from 2015, polling 18,832 votes as she finished 6,353 ahead of Conservative’s Paul White
Gordon Birtwistle (Lib Dems) came third with 6,046 votes while Tom Commis (UKIP) and Laura Fisk (Green Party) polled 2,472 and 461 respectively.
“This was an election fought against an unprecedented situation. The country stands at crossroads following our decision to leave the European Union. And against a background of some of the most horrific terrorist attacks this country has ever seen.
“There are those out there who on many fronts seek to divide us and foster hatred among communities. I am delighted and extremely grateful to the people of Burnley and Padiham who have looked beyond these issues, who have looked at manifestos, who have looked at ideas and who have sought to choose hope over hate.
“I am pleased that they have seen that we offer a fair and decent way forward for this country. It is an absolute honour and a privilege to represent the people of Burnley and Padiham in Westminster.”
She said she was surprised by the margin of the victory but this now offered a clear mandate from the people of the borough.
“I wasn’t expecting such an overwhelming majority. I have always taken the approach that you have to earn every single vote. And to have won by one would have been fine. But I am quite overwhelmed to have doubled my majority. I see it as a clear mandate. People like what I’m doing and they like the Labour manifesto.
“I’ve enjoyed the task; sometimes it’s been challenging, always hard work and I look forward to honouring all the commitments I made to people on thousands of doorsteps during this short campaign. I am proud of the people of Burnley and Padiham.
“It is an exciting challenge. I am absolutely thrilled to be going back on Monday and to build on the foundations I have laid in the last two years.”
Nationally, Labour performed far better than expected but Mrs Cooper said there was still plenty of work to be done.
“Nobody could have predicted (what has happened nationally). A massive Conservative majority was predicted and that’s not to be and obviously I’m very pleased about that.
“But I do look forward to seeing a Labour Government at the earliest opportunity.”
Voter turnout was 62.3%.