Former Eastbourne MP Caorline Ansell has spoken for the first time today (Saturday) after her defat at the hands of Liberal Democrat Stephen Lloyd.
Mrs Ansell, who ousted Mr Lloyd in the 2015 General Election, said she wanted to thank her election team and supporters.
The mother of three polled 25,315 votes after the count at the Town Hall in the early hours of Friday morning.
Mr Lloyd took 26,924 votes.
Mrs Ansell said, “It has been an absolute honour to serve my home town and Willingdon, Wannock and Jevington, as the Member of Parliament since 2015.
“It has been a tumultuous two years in the political world.
“In this same period, there have also been significant local challenges but successes too, including substantial investment in our town that will mean much in the decades to come.
“My urgent priorities now are for my staff team who have worked so assiduously and for the many local people whose cases we have championed.
“In the incoming days, I will be writing to advise on next steps.
“I would like to thank, most sincerely, all those who have supported me and for the many calls and emails I have had in the wake of the result.
“I am very grateful for your kind and generous words.
“I wish Stephen Lloyd all the best in the role. I’m pleased he has made big promises to the people of this town and beyond.
“Delivery of a new A27, sorting out the Southern Rail problems, ensuring that schools budgets are brought up to previous levels, making sure maternity services return to the DGH and voting for Brexit are just some of those promises he has made and myself and my Conservative colleagues will be looking to ensure that he delivers in the time to come.
“I’m also particularly pleased Stephen has seen the error of his ways and will fight for the 4,000 and more Eastbourne and Willingdon WASPI women to get transitional arrangements so they do not miss out on their pensions.
“Stephen has made much of keeping his word during the campaign and he has my full support in trying to reverse this unfair pension legislation he voted through when he was previously Eastbourne MP.
“In closing, I would like to thank all my campaign team, who have worked so hard and deserved a different result. Thank you again for all your support.”