Two Conservative candidates were re elected in Chipping Barnet and Hendon – with former Cabinet minister Theresa Villiers Defying polls to claim a narrow victory of 25745 over her Labour opponent’s 24,533.
Mrs Villiers, who had been widely expected to lose her seat, paid tribute to her campaign team and used her victory speech to pledge to continue the fight against Antisemitism and racism.
“The polls said It was neck and neck and that’s how it felt,” she said. “I’m Hugely grateful to have another chance to serve Chipping Barnet.” The protection of green spaces and fighting climate change would be among her priorities, said the MP, who served as environment minister under Boris Johnson before the election.
She added: “I’ll continue to do all I can to fight antisemitism. I call on Labour during this period of reflection to root out antisemitism. They haven’t done so.” She said the issue had been raised with her on the campaign trail by Jews and non-Jews – and said that the resurgence of hate in politics must be considered alongside radical policies and Brexit in Labour’s heavy defeat.
In neighbouring Hendon her colleague Matthew Offord had a more convincing victory of 26878 over Labour’s David Pinto-Duschinsky who won 22648 votes. Mr Offord complained of “disgraceful” though unspecified behaviour during the campaign, and said that it was “probably the worst election” he had ever fought. People had focused on personalities rather than policies, he said, adding that opponents had to “address concerns rather than manufacture them and declaring them to be facts”.