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Jane Dodds Wins Brecon By-Election As Boris Johnson Suffers First Defeat As PM

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Boris Johnson has suffered his first big defeat as Prime Minister losing the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election to Jane Dodds, then reducing his working majority to just one.

The Tories were swept aside in the mid-Wales seat by a resurgent Lib Dems campaign which saw the party’s Welsh leader Jane Dodds elected.

Ms Dodds won the seat with 13,826 votes- delivering a heavy blow to the PM.

Disgraced former MP Chris Davies, whose conviction and recall petition prompted the election narrowly lost out with 12,401.

The defeat also earned the newly-elected Conservative leader an unwanted record.

Mr Johnson is now the prime minister who has lost a by-election the earliest – just eight days into his premiership.

The Brexit Party came third with 3,331 votes and Labour, who saw their share of the vote fall by 12.4%, were beaten dismally into fourth.

Celebrating her win, Ms Dodds said: “The people of this constituency have once again chosen hope over fear.”

She added her first act as an MP would be to find the Prime Minister and tell him to rule out a no-deal Brexit.

She continued: “People are desperately crying out for a different kind of politics. There is no time for tribalism when our country is faced with a Boris Johnson Government and the threat of a no-deal Brexit.

“So my very first act as your MP when I arrive in Westminster will be to find Mr Boris Johnson wherever he is hiding and tell him loud and clear: ‘Stop playing with the future of our communities and rule out a no-deal Brexit now’.”

The newly-elected Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson welcomed the result, saying the poll showed “the country doesn’t have to settle for Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn”.

She added: “Boris Johnson’s shrinking majority makes it clear that he has no mandate to crash us out of the EU.

“As leader of the Liberal Democrats, I will do whatever it takes to stop Brexit and offer an alternative, positive vision for a richer, greener and safer future. Britain demands better than what the tired old parties can give.

“We are thankful to Plaid Cymru and the Green Party for putting the national interest first and not contesting this by-election. We now have one more MP who will vote against Brexit in Parliament.”

Ms Dodds’ route to victory was made easier after the decision by both Plaid Cymru and the Greens not to stand against their candidates rival Remain party.

Reacting to the result, Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price: “I am proud that the leadership shown by Plaid Cymru in creating a spirit of cooperation between pro-Remain parties has led to the election of Jane Dodds as the new MP for Brecon and Radnorshire.

“The people of Brecon and Radnorshire have spoken. It’s now time that people throughout these islands are heard, too, in a Final Say referendum.

“But if the prime minister is intent on a general election, he should know that Plaid Cymru and the other pro-Remain parties are committed to cooperating so that we beat Brexit once and for all.”

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