Huge majority for Labour’s Christian Wakeford in Bury South

The former Tory Party MP said he is ‘incredibly proud to have got through it’


Christian Wakeford increased his majority in Bury South (Photo: Getty Images)

Labour MP Christian Wakeford has won a huge majority for the Labour Party in Bury South, after previously standing for the Tories in the seat in 2019.

Wakeford retained the seat with 19,247 votes, more than 9,000 clear of Conservative runner-up Rabbi Arnold Saunders (9,886 votes). The Torys lost 20 per cent of their vote share from 2019.

In his speech after the results were announced, the newly elected Labour MP said he is excited to see the regeneration of Radcliffe and Prestwich and the two new SEND schools and high school that will be built in Radcliffe.

He thanked voters for putting their trust in him, saying “I will do everything in my power to deliver the change that you voted for and to repay the trust that you have placed in me today.”

Speaking to the Bury Times after winning the seat, Wakeford added: “I feel humbled and proud, there were unique circumstances around this election for me and the other constituents, but if anything, it just shows that this is a vote that was made two and a half years ago.

“I’m incredibly proud to have got through it.”

Wakeford was first elected as the Conservative MP for Bury South in 2019, the first time it had gone Tory since 1992. Three years later he defected to Labour, citing Partygate. He is renowned as a staunch supporter of Israel and visited the country on a “solidarity” visit with Labour Friends of Israel in January.

The seat is one of the most Jewish in the country, with the biggest Jewish community outside of London, with an estimated 15 per cent of Jewish voters. Changes to constituency boundaries mean Bury South now takes in Kersal and Broughton Park, the most Jewish electoral ward in the north of England.

The election came less than a week after the consistency's Conservative candidate, Rabbi Arnie Saunders, was “abused and intimated” at a local mosque.

The local councillor and former rabbi of Higher Crumpsall and Higher Broughton Synagogue was harassed outside Bilal Mosque in Prestwich, where he was called a “snake” and subject to abuse which the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) said was “redolent of classic antisemitic tropes like the blood libel”.

Although Rabbi Saunders insisted that “the vast majority of people at the mosque were courteous”, and that “at no point” did he feel physically threatened, he thought the mosque “could have done more” to protect him from the “unpleasant” events that took place.

Earlier in the night, rumours suggested that Reform were going to push the Conservatives into third place in the seat, but the final count saw the Tory candidate receiving 23.4 per cent of the vote and Reform getting 16.3 per cent.

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