The Conservative candidate at the Peterborough by-election has called on new MP Lisa Forbes to “not block Brexit” after blaming the Brexit Party for her victory.
Paul Bristow came third after yesterday’s vote (Thursday). His share of the vote (21.4 per cent) was 25.5 percentage points lower than what the party received two years ago, but the Conservatives were expecting to struggle due to the current Brexit impasse.
The winner in the contest was Labour’s Lisa Forbes who defeated Brexit Party candidate Mike Greene by 683 votes.
Ms Forbes’ victory was the second in consecutive elections for Labour, although her predecessor Fiona Onasanya was earlier this year jailed for perverting the course of justice after lying about a speeding ticket.
That triggered a Recall Petition which received enough signatures from constituents to force the by-election.
Ms Onasanya was expelled by Labour the day after her conviction.
Reflecting on his third place finish, which was 9.5 percentage points behind Labour, Mr Bristow called on Ms Forbes to make sure she helped deliver Brexit.
He also called on her not to “further embarrass our city” after it was discovered she had liked an antisemitic post on Facebook which described Theresa May keeping her “Zionist Slave Masters agenda alive”.
Ms Forbes, who also signed a letter which called on Labour’s ruling body not to accept the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism, has been heavily criticised by some Jewish groups who today (Friday) called on Labour to suspend her.
The union worker has apologised over her Facebook activity and promised she would “deepen” her understanding of antisemitism.
Mr Bristow said: “Results show that what we said all along was true, vote for the Brexit Party and you will get Labour.
“The only party that can deliver Brexit is the Conservatives as the largest and governing party.
“As a Conservative MP I would have delivered on Peterborough’s crucial Brexit vote, but that opportunity was missed.
“Labour’s last MP let Peterborough down and I sincerely hope that the new one does not do the same.
“I hope she will not block Brexit and further embarrass our city by endorsing antisemitic comments and Jewish conspiracy theories.
“My result was far better than the European results a couple of weeks ago, increasing the Conservative vote by 10 per cent. So many people responded positively to my plan to tackle congestion, crime and fly-tipping.
“I love my city and will get back on the doorstep listening to local people. And I look forward to taking the fight to Labour at the next general election.”
Asked who he will be backing in the upcoming Conservative leadership contest, Mr Bristow said: “I will be voting for one who will promise to take us out of the EU by the end of October no matter what.”