We are absolutely thrilled that the West Midlands has a new Liberal Democrat MP after the historic bi-election result in North Shropshire announced early this morning. Huge congratulations to Helen Morgan and North Shropshire Liberal Democrats for turning over a 30,000 majority to take the seat from the Conservatives who had held it for 200 years. This is Helens speech:
“I’d like to thank the Returning Officer, his staff and my fellow candidates for a well run election in the most challenging circumstances.
“To my husband Rob, our son, Ben, and the rest of my family, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your love and support.
“I’d also like to thank my election agent Chris Lovell-Morgan, my incredible campaign team, the local party here in North Shropshire, and the thousands of Liberal Democrat campaigners who answered our Party’s call.
“Your amazing efforts have delivered a gift of hope to our country, just in time for Christmas.
“Tonight, the people of North Shropshire have spoken on behalf of the British people.
“They have said loudly and clearly: ‘Boris Johnson, the party is over’.
“Your government, run on lies and bluster, will be held accountable. It will be scrutinised, it will be challenged and it can and will be defeated.
“Across the country, the Liberal Democrats are taking on the Conservatives and winning.
“In rural Shropshire today – just like in Buckinghamshire in June – we have won the support of people who have always voted Conservative and people who have always opposed them.
“Thousands of lifelong Conservative voters, dismayed by Boris Johnson’s lack of decency and fed up with being taken for granted.
“And thousands of lifelong Labour voters, choosing to lend their votes to the candidate who can defeat the Conservatives.
“People who believe that our politics should be about creating a better country for us all, not a nightly soap opera of calamity and chaos.
“All of them, casting their ballots for the Liberal Democrats.
“And let me say specifically to all those Labour supporters who lent me their votes today: thank you.
“You have shown tonight that, together, we can defeat the Conservatives. Not with deals behind closed doors, but with common sense at the ballot box.
“These are testing times for our country.
“Our NHS, as we know here in Shropshire, is teetering on the brink.
“Our rural economy is in a precarious state with people’s livelihoods at risk.
“Our country is crying out for leadership.
“Mr Johnson, you are no leader.
“Many of your predecessors took office because they believed in a sense of national service. That they were duty bound to do what they believed is right for our country.
“To represent all of us, even if we disagreed with them.
“Mr Johnson, this is not how you operate.
“Too often it is all about you and never about us.
“Instead of taking action to help Shropshire’s NHS, you spend your time seeking questionable donations to refurbish your flat.
“Instead of taking action to support Shropshire’s farmers, you spend your time misleading the nation on how you and your office partied during lockdown.
“Tonight the people of North Shropshire have said enough is enough.
“They have said that you are unfit to lead and that they want a change.
“I want to pay tribute tonight to my party leader Ed Davey.
“Ed, thanks to you it is the Liberal Democrats who are opposing Boris Johnson’s Government and winning. From Chesham and Amersham to North Shropshire, you lead our campaigns from the front.
“I want to thank you personally for the support you have given me over the last few weeks.
“Whether it is on the streets of Whitchurch or Wem, Oswestry, Ellesmere or Market Drayton, you have led the charge for change.
“Finally, thank you most of all to all the people of North Shropshire.
“Not just for your support throughout this campaign –
“Not just for putting your faith in me to be your champion in Parliament –
“But for all the hard work and sacrifices you have made over the past two years, to get our communities through this awful pandemic.
“I will never take it for granted.
“My priorities are your priorities: Improving our local ambulance service, GPs and hospitals.
“Supporting our farmers and defending our rural way of life.
“Helping our communities through this new wave of COVID.
“As your MP, I promise I will work for you and only you. I will always put local people and our communities first.
“Whether you supported me or supported someone else, I want to let you know that I am here to represent you and to stand up for everyone in North Shropshire.