Stephen Timms takes biggest vote to date - but won’t be Labour leader

Stephen Timms with fellow Labour MP Lyn Brown

Stephen Timms with fellow Labour MP Lyn Brown - Credit: Archant

Stephen Timms has called his re-election to the House of Commons “an enormous privilege” after being selected to represent East Ham with an overwhelming majority.

The 59-year-old, who received 40,563 votes, said he was the only candidate he was aware of to pass the 40,000 threshold.

He added: “East Ham is a big constituency, but I got around 78 per cent, which is about as good as it gets.”

The Labour MP praised his fellow candidates for contesting an “enthusiastic” campaign, thanking them “for the decency and dignity in which this campaign has been fought.”

He did, however, criticise his Conservative rival Samir Jassal for allowing a leaflet with the words ‘Name Surname’ printed on it to enter letterboxes across the constituency.

He said: “The people of East Ham deserve to be treated better than that. Someone should have proofread it.”

He explained that he was pleased with Labour’s success in east London, including a win in nearby Ilford North that was supported by a number of Newham party members, but not so happy with the political picture on a national scale.

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He said: “The next thing to do is to choose a new party leader.

“We’ve got to decide whether to do that by the summer, which is the earliest possible time frame, or whether to wait until our party conference in September and announce it then.

“That’s a decision that will be made this week.”

Stephen, who succeeded former leader Ed Miliband as the shadow minister for employment in 2010, ruled himself out of running for the party leadership when asked but said he was “very pleased” to retain his seat in the House of Commons.

It is the sixth consecutive election the former chief secretary to the treasury has won.

He was first elected to the seat of Newham North East following a 1994 by-election, and has won the East Ham seat in every election since its creation in 1997.

He said: “We had a very good response in East Ham and I’m very pleased to have won again.”

Thursday’s election saw him obtain the largest percentage of the vote he has won to date.

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