BRAKESPEARE: Cambs Tory councillor pleased with Barnsley Central by election vote despite easy Labour win

DESPITE Labour coasting to victory in the Barnsley Central by election, Cambridgeshire politician James Hockney felt he had acquitted himself well with a third place position and 16.5 per cent of the vote.

Mr Hockney, who lives near Cambridge and is a South Cambs councillor, also had one edge over his Labour victor, Dan Jarvis, by having a grandfather who had worked down the pits.

Mr Jarvis, it seems, has become the first Labour MP for the Barnsley seat since 1938 not to have either been born in Yorkshire or to have links with coal mining.

Mr Hockney, 32, is no stranger to Barnsley, having fought the neighbouring constituency at the last election and achieving a massive swing to the Tories.

He also had to survive reported attempts by former cricketer Darren Gough (also a Strictly Come Dancing champ) to replace him as candidate.

In the end, so rumour goes, Darren decided he was far too busy to fight a by election where victory was never likely.

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