John Healey ready for new fight against Conservatives and Ukip

General Election Count 2015, Magna Science Centre Rotherham, John Healey is returned as thr Labour MP for Wentworth and Dearne Picture Dean Atkins
General Election Count 2015, Magna Science Centre Rotherham, John Healey is returned as thr Labour MP for Wentworth and Dearne Picture Dean Atkins

Re-elected Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey is gearing up for a new fight against the Conservatives and UKIP after a disappointing night nationally for Labour.

Mr Healey, who maintained a majority of more than 13,000 in his seat over nearest challengers UKIP, said the result showed support for Labour values in South Yorkshire remains strong.

But he said the national picture meant Labour MPs in the next Parliament will have to be prepared for a ‘fight’ against the new Government, while local politicians will have to deal with the growing challenge from UKIP.

The MP had a 13,920 majority in the 2010 election and held off the challenge of UKIP’s Mike Hookem at this year’s vote.

Mr Healey polled 24,571 votes, representing 56.9 per cent of the vote, ahead of Mr Hookem with 10,733 and a vote share of 24.9 per cent.

Conservative Michael Naughton was third with 6,441, ahead of Liberal Democrat Edwin Simpson with 1,135 and English Democrat Alan England with 309.

Mr Healey – who saw his majority fall by less than 100 to 13,838 – said he was honoured with the backing he had received.

He said: “This is a vote of confidence in Labour and our values of community, equality and solidarity.

“It is quite clear tonight that over the next year we are going to have to fight against a new Conservative government and locally against UKIP.

“We will bring back the support and trust of the people.”

Speaking prior to the result, Mr Hookem said he had received a positive response from voters in the run up to the election.

“I was out all day at the polling stations and it has been a very, very positive reaction.

“We have proven what we have always said - we are taking votes not only from the Conservatives but also from Labour.”

Turnout in the constituency was 58.35 per cent, similar to the level of 2010.