Re-elected Gwynne outlines priorities in new constituency

ON a hugely successful night for the Labour Party across the country, Andrew Gwynne completed a clean sweep of re-elections for the MPs serving Tameside. 

A boundary review last year redrew the electoral map across Greater Manchester, which saw Gwynne stand in the newly formed Denton and Gorton constituency – comprising Denton, Gorton, Burnage, Levenshulme and Longsight.

That also meant a change of venue on election night as the candidates headed to Manchester Central to await the all-important outcome, which wasn’t declared until around 5.30am on Friday (July 5).

Andrew Gwynne was re-elected as MP for Denton and Gorton

It came as little surprise that Gwynne followed in the footsteps of Angela Rayner in Ashton-under-Lyne and Jonathan Reynolds in Stalybridge and Hyde in retaining his seat, with an increased majority to boot.

The Labour incumbent received 18,555 votes – with a 50.8 per cent share of the vote and a majority of 13,413 – up from 6,175 in 2019. The turnout for the constituency was a lowly 47 per cent.

Gwynne said it was an “absolute honour” to be elected into what he described as a “different constituency” but “one that I am really looking forward to representing, crossing the borough of Tameside and the city of Manchester”.

He told The Correspondent: “The people of Denton and Gorton voted for change. The next Labour Government will be carrying out that mandate for change, we will do what we can to rebuild this country, to rebuild infrastructure and make places like Tameside and Manchester stronger and fairer.

Andrew Gwynne MP – General Election 2024

“Obviously I am really sorry to be giving up Audenshaw and Dukinfield after 19 years but they are now in the very capable hands of our new Deputy Prime Minister [Angela Rayner]. But it is and remains the utmost privilege to represent the town Denton, where I have always lived, gone to school, brought my own family and represented on Tameside Council first and then in Parliament for 28 years. I hope I continue to do my best for the people of Denton and indeed the new patch.”

Gwynne expressed how “incredible” it is that Tameside will be well represented within the newly formed Labour government, with Rayner as Deputy Prime Minister and Reynolds as Business Secretary, but admitted the hard work starts now.

“The pressure is on us not just to deliver for Tameside but for the whole country,” he explained. “It’s a challenge all three of us relish. I’ve been an MP for 19 years, I spent the first five years on the Government benches and the next 14 years in opposition. I know which I prefer.

“We had to make some really difficult decisions in my first five years as an MP from the Government benches, things that were sometimes difficult to vote for but we also changed people’s lives for the better.

“Over the last 14 years, I’ve made some great speeches, I’ve had some great Parliamentary interventions, I’ve made some great interventions with ministers and delivered some body blows and punches, but I haven’t changed a single vote. I haven’t been able to do anything meaningful from the opposition benches because there weren’t enough Labour MPs. Opposition is futile so enough of the talking, it’s now time to do.”

With attention now turning to how Labour will tackle the big issues facing the country, Gwynne has outlined what his priorities will be locally over the next five years.

“I want to make sure we rebuild the infrastructure, we build the homes that future generations need, we tidy the environment, make sure our rivers and air are clean, make sure our green spaces are there for people to use for leisure and recreation. We also want our schools to be world beating and we need to fix our broken NHS.”

As has been the trend locally, Nigel Farage’s right-wing populist party Reform UK enjoyed a surge of support and their candidate Lee Moffitt came second with 5,142 votes.

Amanda Gardner finished third in the poll for the Green Party with 4,810, while the Workers Party of Britain were fourth as Amir Burney took 3,766 votes.

Ruth Welsh – who has previously represented the Hyde Werneth ward on Tameside Council – claimed 2,888 votes for the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats received the fewest votes as John Reid took 1,399.

But it was undoubtedly Labour’s night as Gwynne secured another term to serve Denton, having represented the area in Parliament under the Denton and Reddish constituency since 2005.

The 50-year-old, whose wife Allison is a Labour councillor for the Denton North East ward, was a Parliamentary Private Secretary to several ministers when Labour was last in government before holding several Shadow Cabinet roles during his time in office.

 

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