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Labour’s Catherine Fookes wins Monmouthshire

Catherine Fookes is the new Labour MP for Monmouthshire (Pic: LDRS)

WELSH secretary David Davies has lost his Monmouthshire seat at the general election by more than 3,000 votes. 

Labour’s Catherine Fookes won the seat and will become the first woman to represent Monmouthshire in Parliament. 

The result wasn’t confirmed until gone five in the morning but the real prospect of a defeat was raised by Mr Davies himself shortly after the broadcasters’ exit poll predicting a Labour landslide was released. 

Eventually, it was clear that the Welsh Secretary had become one of scores of Tory ministers to lose their seats. 

With all the votes counted Ms Fookes, a county councillor for the Monmouth Town ward, was declared as the county’s new MP with 21,010 votes, a 3,338 majority over the Conservatives. 

The seat has been fought on new boundaries that mirror the county with Labour supporting areas in Caldicot, and others in the south west that had been in the former Labour held Newport East seat, joining the constituency. Labour last won the old Monmouth seat in 2001. 

In her victory speech Ms Fookes paid a “big tribute” to Mr Davies’ “25 years of service to the people of Monmouthshire” which began in 1999 when he was elected to the then Welsh Assembly. 

She said she gave Mr Davies her word she would look after the people of Monmouthshire. 

Following her victory Ms Fookes said constituents would benefit from a new MP and new ruling party and said: “I’m part of a party that’s focused on economic growth not fighting among themselves. 

“We will be sorting out the cost-of-living crises.” 

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Asked how Labour would address the cost-of-living Ms Fookes said it would do so by “focusing on economic growth” which she said the outgoing Conservative government hadn’t done a good job of. 

Once the result was announced, Ms Fookes was met with rapturous applause from the large number of Labour volunteers and many of her fellow councillors, a number like her elected for the first time when Labour won power at the local elections in May 2022. 

The result was a relief to those who’d been following the counting process as though Monmouthshire was the last result in Wales to declare a Labour victory had been highly anticipated.

Shortly after the exit poll was released Mr Davies told the BBC: “I’ll be the first to acknowledge there’s going to be a massive Labour victory and I certainly won’t be in Parliament at the end of the evening and I’ll put that on the record.” 

On arrival at the count, at Chepstow Leisure Centre, at 4am Mr Davies half-heartedly described himself as “just the unemployed middle aged guy”. 

Asked about his earlier comments to the BBC, Mr Davies replied: “I’m not going to win.” 

Labour had heavily targeted the seat, with leader Sir Keir Starmer launching the party’s Welsh campaign in Abergavenny a week into the campaign and it had a heavy presecence on the ground. 

Ms Fookes was previously the chief executive of equalities charity, Women’s Equality Network Wales, and chair of Fabians Cymru, the Welsh arm of the “left leaning think tank”. 

She also stood for Labour in the 2016 Welsh Assembly elections, coming second with 8,438 votes with the Conservatives retaining the seat with a 5,147 majority  

Labour hasn’t won the Monmouth Parliamentary constituency since 2001, with former MP Huw Edwards defeated by Mr Davies in 2005.

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