Glenda Jackson's thriller win in Hampstead

Glenda Jackson, who sensationally won the new Hampstead and Kilburn seat by just 42 votes, has defended her victory after opponents criticised her campaign.

The Oscar-winning actress, who held the former Hampstead and Highgate seat, received 17,332 votes, narrowly beating Tory candidate Chris Philp.

The new constituency takes in Hampstead, South Hampstead and Brondesbury Park synagogues.

Ms Jackson, 74, had been criticised by both Mr Philp and Lib Dem candidate Ed Fordham, who said that her presence during the campaign was not widespread enough.

"My feet would bear the truth of that untrue statement," Ms Jackson said. "I was out every day. We had a fight for that seat and we won. It was brilliant winning by 42 votes. It was sweeter than getting 4,200 votes."

Mr Philp said: "I don't think the Jewish community has seen much of her and, like the rest of the constituency, shouldn't hold their breath about getting much support."

Ms Jackson said that when asked by a Jewish voter what she would do to make his life better, she replied: "On the basis of religion, nothing. Every constituent has the right to come to me regardless of religion."

She said that she had "always supported" Israel but disagreed with a change in the law regarding universal jurisdiction.

"I don't always support the Israeli government," she said. "I wouldn't want to see any change in the universal jurisdiction law. I have signed various Early Day Motions against the change.

"You can't just consider a tiny part of the world, there is a broader point here and there are people responsible for genocide in Africa that need to be considered."

Last updated: 2:05pm, May 13 2010