Labour’s Judith Cummins hailed her victory in Bradford South as a “rejection of austerity” and pledged to make education her key focus for her next term in Parliament.
Ms Cummins gained more than 6,000 extra votes than she did in 2015, with just under 7,000 more votes than her nearest challenger, Conservative Tanya Graham. Speaking to The Yorkshire Post just minutes after her victory Ms Cummins said she was “raring to go” with her next term as an MP. “We fought this campaign on what people were saying,” she said. “We have increased our vote. Last time they said we were vulnerable to UKIP. This time we were vulnerable to the Tories. And both times we have returned a majority. “We put the people and priorities of Bradford South first. This result is a rejection of austerity and a rejection of the Tories. “We have got an NHS that is crumbling, we have seen cuts in services to children, we have seen massive cuts across the board. And people had had enough of these attacks on our public services.” Ms Cummins would not be drawn on the national picture or whether she would serve in a cabinet led by Jeremy Corbyn, saying only she wanted to go home to rest and celebrate with her family. In her victory speech she said: “When I was elected two years ago I promised that I would put the interests of local people at the centre of everything I did and I think that is reflected in the result. The people of Bradford South have put their trust in me again. This election was called was called by a Prime Minister who put her own party’s interest ahead of those of the country,.This election was about more than Brexit.” Rumours of higher than expected turnout began circulating almost as soon as counting started. Labour election agent Dan Howard confirmed to The Yorkshire Post that the response on the doorstep had been positive and that the traditional Labour support had been voting for the party. The result compares with the 43.4 per cent share Ms Cummins polled two years ago when she picked up 16,328 votes. Ms Cummins took over from former Bradford South incumbent Gerry Sutcliffe, who held the seat since 1994 before standing down ahead of the 2015 election.