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Conservative's Boris Johnson
"I hope to be a good constituency MP to you all"
 real 56k

Independent candidate Martin Bell
"We have said something, we have made a statement"
 real 56k

Labour's Peter Mandelson
"My political opponents can have their pound of flesh - and they do - but they will never eat into the core of my beliefs"
 real 56k

Friday, 8 June, 2001, 04:17 GMT 05:17 UK
Independent doctor triumphs

Retired doctor Richard Taylor has taken over from former journalist Martin Bell as the only Independent to be elected to the Commons.

Martin Bell, the man in the white suit, failed in his bid to win Brentwood and Ongar from Eric Pickles.

I am grateful to Hartlepool for putting me back on the political map

Peter Mandelson
But Dr Taylor won an astonishing victory in the Worcestershire seat of Wyre Forest - where he campaigned to save services at Kidderminster general hospital.

He scooped 28,487 votes and unseated junior Lord Chancellor's department minister David Lock, who became the first ministerial casualty of the night.

Lib Dem shock

Leading Liberal Democrat Jackie Ballard, who ran against Charles Kennedy for the party leadership, lost her seat in Taunton.

She was beaten by Tory Adrian Flook after a recount.

Controversial Europe Minister Keith Vaz won his Leicester East seat.

Mr Vaz, whose business affairs have been the subject of repeated investigations by the parliamentary standards watchdog, won the seat with a reduced majority.

'Fighter not quitter'

Peter Mandelson easily won his Hartlepool seat.

The former high-flying cabinet minister and architect of New Labour greeted his victory with the words "I am a fighter not a quitter."

Mr Mandelson, who twice resigned from the cabinet, commented: "It was said I was facing political oblivion...well, they underestimated me.

Peter Mandelson
Mr Mandelson was delighted by the result
"In politics as in life you have bad days and good days - today has been a good day.

"I am grateful to Hartlepool for putting me back on the political map".

Woodward back

Millionaire Conservative defector Shaun Woodward won St Helens South for Labour.

Mr Woodward, attacked in the press for having a butler, took the seat with a reduced majority - despite widespread criticism that he had been "parachuted" into the seat at the last minute.

Shaun Woodward
Mr Woodward greets victory with a smile
He described the Conservative Party as "extremely right wing and believing in a divided Britain".

But Tory vice chairman Steve Norris said of Mr Woodward: "Labour are welcome to him.

"He couldn't find his way up the motorway if he didn't have his butler with him."


Shadow chancellor Michael Portillo called for a "period of reflection" within the Tory Party after holding Kensington and Chelsea.

He paid tribute to party leader William Hague and appealed to Tories not to say anything hasty which they "might regret thereafter".

Flamboyant Spectator editor Boris Johnson held Henley for the Tories, replacing former Conservative deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine.

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson listens to the results
Mr Johnson said it had not been "a brilliant night" for his party but things would get better.

"We will return," he pledged.

An already disappointing night for the Conservatives got worse when it emerged that they had failed to win highly marginal Torbay - the number two seat on their target list.

The seat was held by Adrian Sanders for the Liberal Democrats with vastly increased majority of 6,708 - up from just 12 votes in 1997.

Mr Sanders said: "I am absolutely stunned, shocked and amazed at the size of my majority."

Model Jordan: 713 votes for glamour
Former Tory foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind failed in his bid to win back Edinburgh Pentlands which he lost to Labour in 1997.

Veteran writer and broadcaster Sir Ludovic Kennedy - who ran as a voluntary euthanasia candidate after leaving the Lib Dems - failed to unseat Tory chairman Michael Ancram in Devizes.

Amidst the gloom there was good news for the Tories in Romford where they managed a gain from Labour.

They also won back Tatton - the seat previously held by Independent Martin Bell.

In Oldham West, the scene of recent race riots, Environment Minister Michael Meacher won comfortably.

But the far right British National Party took more than 11,000 votes in the two Oldham seats - their best result ever.

Glamour model Jordan - one of the more colourful characters of the campaign - failed to win a seat in the Commons.

She had contested a seat in Manchester, where she ran under her real name of Katie Price with the slogan "For a Bigger and Betta Future".

She polled 713 votes.


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