Andy Sawford had his first taste of life as an MP today (Monday, November 19) when he was welcomed to Westminster by Labour leader Ed Miliband.
Andy was joined by the winners of the by-elections in Cardiff South & Penarth and Manchester Central last week, Stephen Doughty and Lucy Powell.
Mr Miliband said the wins provided a “fantastic” boost to the party, particularly in seizing Corby from the Conservatives - Labour’s first by-election gain from Tories in 15 years.
“We won three by-elections last Thursday but we know that the work goes on,” said Mr Miliband. “The work goes on to take the message of One Nation Labour to every part of this country and that is what we are going to do as the Labour Party.”
Mr Sawford said his victory was “hugely important in showing that people are putting their trust in Ed Miliband’s Labour Party”.
He dismissed Conservative suggestions that the 12.7 per cent swing to Labour was due to voters’ anger at former Tory MP Louise Mensch’s decision to step down to spend more time with her family in New York.
“They voted to send a message to the Government that they feel the Government’s policies are failing,” said Mr Sawford.
“A lot of the people who supported me at this election voted for David Cameron two years ago and now they feel the Government is letting them down.”
Mr Sawford entered the chamber for the first time this afternoon flanked by Labour MPs Ian Austin and Toby Perkins, before swearing his oath of allegiance to the Queen and taking his place in the House of Commons to cheers from Opposition members.
He was followed by Mr Doughty. Ms Powell is expected to be sworn in as an MP tomorrow.