Tories hold Old Bexley & Sidcup by-election but slash majority.

THE Tories have HELD their seat in the Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election following the death of a former Cabinet minister.

Louie French has become the UK's newest MP and took more than half the votes in the contest - which was triggered by the death of former minister James Brokenshire.

Turnout in the contest was just 34 per cent, meaning the Tory majority was slashed from the almost 19,000 that Mr Brokenshire enjoyed in 2019.

Mr French had a 4,478-vote cushion over Labour, with Sir Keir Starmer's party's share of the vote increasing from 2019.

Reform leader Richard Tice came in third, claiming his party was now "on the upward march".

MP French used his acceptance speech to pay tribute to his "good friend" Mr Brokenshire, who died from lung cancer in October.

He said: "This has been a tough contest, which has been fought with dignity and respect."

The by-election took place against a difficult backdrop for the Tories - after weeks of allegations about sleaze and Boris Johnson's chaotic speech to the Confederation of British Industry.

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Tories hold seat in Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election after death of ex-Cabinet minister but with slashed majority
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