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Labour Beat UKIP to Hold Stoke-on-Trent

Labour have held on to the seat of Stoke-on-Trent central in a close run by-election, beating UKIP by 2,500 votes.

The result makes Gareth Snell, a staunch ‘remainer’ who called Brexit a “pile of sh*t”, the new representative of one of the most strongly Brexit-supporting areas of the country.

Labour’s Mr. Snell took 7,853 votes, the Liberal Democrat’s Dr. Zulfiqar Ali took 2,083 votes, the Conservative’s Jack Brereton took 5,284, Adam and UKIP leader Paul Nuttall took 5,233.

Also standing were independents Mohammed Akram and Barbara Fielding, Godfrey Davies of the Christian Peoples Alliance, David Furness for the British National Party and The Flying Brick of the Monster Raving Loony Party.

Storm Doris, which raged throughout polling day, is thought to have affected turnout and there were concerns it would delay the count.

Around 70 per cent of the Labour city voted to leave the European Union (EU) in June, leading to Mr. Nuttall branding the area “the Brexit capital of the UK”.

The election was sparked when former Labour MP and Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt vacated the seat at the beginning of January after he accepting a job as the director of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

UKIP and the Conservatives were effectively tied at the last general election in 2014, with UKIP winning just 33 more votes than the Tories.

Labour’s share of the vote in the constituency has been falling for some years, and both rivals needed just an 8.6 per cent swing to snatch it from Labour.

However, the campaign has been marred by an aggressive anti-UKIP campaign by so-called ‘anti-fascists’ backing the Labour candidate.

The supposedly “anti-racist” group Hope not Hate (HnH) allegedly distributed literature in the area focusing on issues such as the ivory trade, climate change, income tax rates, and Britain’s National Health Service.

Stoke-on-Trent North Labour MP Ruth Smeeth was once the secretary of HNH and remains a director of the group.

UKIP activists repeatedly reported being harassed in the area, with Breitbart London revealing how a group was assaulted by “anti-fascists” called them “fascist scum” on the 12th of February.

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