A social worker has become the first female MP for South Shields after seeing off a challenge from UKIP to take the seat made vacant by the resignation of David Miliband.
Social worker and Labour candidate Emma Lewell-Buck made history after securing 12,593 votes to comfortably stave off a challenge by UKIP, whose candidate won 6,505 votes. The Conservatives were pushed into third place with 2,857 votes, while the Liberal Democrats came seventh, with just 352 votes.
After her victory, Lewell-Buck told reporters: “UKIP did make inroads, but ultimately the people of South Shields have spoken, and they want a Labour MP.”
The MP said her background as social worker meant she had witnessed how the coalition’s government policies are impacting the most vulnerable.
“I have seen how people live under a coalition government and are really struggling, and I want to make a difference.”