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Emily Thornberry thanks ‘beautiful’ Islington South and attacks ‘squatter’ Theresa May

PUBLISHED: 18:41 09 June 2017 | UPDATED: 23:14 09 June 2017

Emily Thornberry beams at Sobell Leisure Centre after holding her Islington South and Finsbury seat. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Emily Thornberry beams at Sobell Leisure Centre after holding her Islington South and Finsbury seat. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Emily Thornberry this evening thanked “intensely beautiful” Islington South and Finsbury for re-electing her with a landslide majority.

Emily Thornberry speaks at Sobell Leisure Centre after holding her Islington South and Finsbury seat. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PAEmily Thornberry speaks at Sobell Leisure Centre after holding her Islington South and Finsbury seat. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Mrs Thornberry won with 30,188 votes, a majority of 20,263 over second-placed Conservative Jason Charalambous.

Her majority has increased by 7,555 – despite the Lib Dems and Greens gunning for her over Brexit.

Mrs Thornberry admitted parts of her staunchly pro-remain constituency were “legitimately” angry with her after she voted for Brexit in Parliament, following the result of last year’s EU referendum.

Despite the Gazette’s phone call waking her up, she was happy to say: “I was very moved at the result. I mean that genuinely. It’s fantastic being an MP, and especially in Islington, which is the best constituency in Britain. It’s where I chose to make my home and bring up my family. People from all walks of life live here – it’s intensely beautiful.

“I thought there was a chance my majority would go down. People understandably and legitimately disagreed with me over my Brexit stance. They were angry with me. The Lib Dems were doing their best to capitalise, but my majority increased due to the high turnout. At that point, I realised it would be different.”

At the Sobell Leisure Centre election count last night/this morning, it looked as though her Islington North colleague and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn could become Prime Minister.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Emily Thornberry at Sobell Leisure Centre during the election count. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PALabour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Emily Thornberry at Sobell Leisure Centre during the election count. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Mrs Thornberry, a key cog of Labour’s election campaign, added she was not surprised at Labour’s excellent performance in yesterday’s poll.

“Again, it was to do with turnout. Before the exit poll was announced, I was getting encouraging information from friends across the country. It emphasises our point that it’s not enough to tweet your support or like Jeremy Corbyn on Facebook. People have to pitch up on the doorstep, and they did across the country.”

Theresa May is currently forming her government after securing the support of the Democratic Unionists.

Mrs Thornberry, who will be returning to her MP duties tomorrow morning with a constituency surgery, added: “I don’t know what’s going to happen next. We are more than willing to form a government with our radical manifesto, which huge numbers of people agree with. But it looks like Theresa May is going to hang on, squatting in Number 10. We’ll see how that goes.”

It leaves Labour in a strong position as an opposition, and she said of Mr Corbyn: “This election has confirmed everything I have said about him as Labour leader. He’s clearly been endorsed by the public, which obviously appreciates his authenticity.”

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