Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Rotherham by-election: Sarah Champion holds Labour seat

Sarah Champion and supporters
Image caption Sarah Champion secured 9,866 votes - 46% of those cast

Labour has held the South Yorkshire seat of Rotherham in a parliamentary by-election with the UK Independence Party taking second place.

Sarah Champion secured the seat with 9,866 votes - 46% of those cast.

UKIP's Jane Collins came second with 4,648 votes and the British National Party's Marlene Guest came third on 1,804 votes.

The by-election was called following the resignation of the former MP Denis MacShane on 2 November.

Mr MacShane stepped down after he was found to have wrongly claimed at least £7,500 in expenses. He had been MP for the town since 1994.

Labour described Ms Champion as a "clean break" candidate following the scandal surrounding Mr MacShane, and she becomes the first-ever woman MP for the seat.

Speaking after her victory, Ms Champion said: "I've never stood for election before but when I see the damage David Cameron is doing to Rotherham I cannot stand and watch.

Ms Champion, chief executive of a children's hospice, said she was not a career politician and will serve "not for what I can get out of it but what I can put into it".

Mr Farage, who was at the Rotherham count, said the result was the party's "best ever" at a by-election.

"It's big progress. It's a big night for UKIP," he added.

UKIP's campaign in Rotherham was boosted by a row over a local couple who had their foster children removed by the Labour council because they were UKIP members.

There were 11 candidates standing in the by-election and the turnout was 33.8% - down from 59% in the 2010 general election.

Labour also won by-elections in Croydon North in south London and Middlesbrough.

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