HILARY Benn has stormed to his fifth General Election victory, holding his Leeds Central seat by a comfortable margin for Labour, and securing almost 5,000 more votes than all the other candidates put together- and 55 per cent of the total.
His closest rival was Tory candidate Nicola Wilson, who secured 7,791 votes.
The turnout in the constituency, the biggest in the city with an electorate of more than 80,000, was 55.35 per cent, lower than the citywide average of 65.43 per cent.
In an emotional speech, Mr Benn vowed to carry on working for his constituents, something he said was “the most important part” of his job.
And speaking just a year after his father Tony Benn - a champion of the left and much loved and respected political figure - passed away, he recalled his dad’s motto that “in life and in politics, you should stand up for what you believe in”.
“That’s what I will carry on doing,” he said.
“I have now been elected for the fifth time to represent Leeds Central, which is a great privilege and honour.
“I am going to continue to work for my constituents as I always have done.”
He admitted disappointment at the national result, but said the lessons learned from the night would be something the Labour party would build on.
“My main feeling tonight is that the people who have suffered the most, the people on the lowest incomes, the people who are still paying the bedroom tax, for them democracy has not delivered a change and those values of fairness,” he said.
“The Labour party was established to represent the principles of fairness and we are not going to give up fighting for those over the months and years ahead.”