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UK Politics

Spectre of Louise Mensch haunts Labour's conquest of Corby


Wherever she may have been – presumably enjoying her rock n’ roll family life at her new home in glamorous New York - the ghost of Louise Mensch pervaded the cavernous municipal chill of Corby’s Lodge Park sports centre.

Even before the votes were counted the former chick-lit author had taken to Twitter to load the blame for the Conservative Party’s drubbing on her own shoulders.

Tory high command was only too happy to portray the outgoing MP as fall guy amid fury among ministers that her high profile decision to give up her seat only two years after being elected should expose the Government’s electoral weakness.

It is difficult to know whether this was of any consolation to Tory candidate Christine Emmett.

Her own chances of election in this barometer seat were given little in the way of help when it emerged her campaign manager Tory MP Chris Heaton-Harris had offered succour to a rival anti-wind farm candidate who eventually decided not to stand.

Nor perhaps the views of Mrs Mensch’s husband Peter, who manages rock giants Metallica and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

In the end the touch of outspoken glamour Mrs Mensch brought to her brief tenure as representative for the former Northamptonshire steel town gave way to Labour’s Andy Sawford.

Whilst party officials sought to portray him as the descendent of generations of local steel workers, the slightly less romantic truth is that he is also son of former Kettering MP Phil Sawford.

The 35-year-old previously worked for Labour Corby MP Phil Hope and was chief executive of the Local Government Information Unit.

He took his place on stage alongside 12 candidates - including Mr Mozzarella, a professional takeaway chef and a representative of the Elvis Loves Pets Party. But in the end Mr Sawford surpassed earlier Labour boasts by posting a majority of 8,000 – the equivalent of a 12.67 per cent swing from the Government.

It was, he said, a resounding victory for Ed Miliband and his newly minted vision of a One Nation Labour Party insisting that “the road to Downing Street runs through Corby”.