New North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan 'bursts Boris's bubble' in Oswestry victory rally
Shropshire's new Liberal Democrat MP has celebrated defeating the Conservatives by "bursting Boris's bubble" in a victory rally in Oswestry.
Helen Morgan is the new MP for North Shropshire after overturning a massive Tory majority to take the seat by almost 6,000 votes.
The result sent shock waves through Westminster after weeks of damaging headlines about Tory “sleaze” and reports of partying in No 10 in breach of Covid restrictions last year.
The 46-year-old from Harmer Hill is the third Liberal Democrat to represent a Shropshire constituency, following in the footsteps of former Ludlow MP Matthew Green and Shrewsbury MP Paul Marsden who defected from Labour to the party.
With Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey self-isolating, Ms Morgan led a victory rally alongside former party leader Tim Farron on Friday morning.
Flanked by placard-holding activists, she popped a large blue balloon with 'Boris's bubble' emblazoned on the side of it and marched through Oswestry town centre.
Mr Farron said: "I don't know if you realise how many millions of people have woken up this morning feeling a bit of light has broken into the darkness.
"But it turns out, if you are incompetent, it turns out if you tell lies, it turns out if you take the people for granted, there is a price to pay.
"Democracy and justice is alive and well in Britain and the people of North Shropshire have spoken for the whole of Britain last night," the Lib Dem MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale added.
After a 25-minute walkabout through the market town in her constituency, Ms Morgan said of her win: "Well, I'm absolutely thrilled, humbled and honoured - and obviously a little bit tired."
She added that voters had been "moving towards" the Liberal Democrats - and away from the Conservatives - "even before the issue with the party, last week".
She said: "We found that people really felt as if they were taken for granted."
Ms Morgan said of her by-election victory: "Our ambulance services are under pressure, our farming community feels taken for granted.
"And when we went out and told them that they could have an MP who would listen to them and fight their corner, that message really resonated."
She added: "You can't deny the impact of the party and the news that broke last week, but I think it was moving in our direction before then."
Meanwhile Mr Johnson said he took “personal responsibility” for what he described as a “very disappointing” result” for the Conservatives.
However, he sidestepped questions about whether he would resign if it was in the interests of the country or his party, insisting he was focused in fighting the pandemic.
Tory candidate Neil Shastri-Hurst finished with 31.6 per cent of the vote compared to Mrs Morgan's 47.1 per cent after a 37 per cent swing.