CONSERVATIVE Julian Smith has expressed his delight after being re-elected as MP for Skipton and Ripon.

Mr Smith, who was declared winner of the seat he has held since 2010 at just after 6am this morning, was 1,650 votes ahead of his closest rival, Labour's Malcolm Birks, an architect who lives in Skipton.

Mr Smith's win, one of the few for the Conservatives which suffered the worst defeat in a parliamentary election in modern times, came a day after he was awarded a knighthood in the Dissolution Honours.

He posted on X, formerly Twitter, "Delighted to have re-elected as MP for Skipton and Ripon. Thank you for to the candidates, North Yorkshire Council, my local party, agent and parliamentary team, CCHQ and the volunteers who supported me. The doorstep conversations of this post Covid election were humbling - UK democracy is alive and kicking."

Mr Smith CBE PC , formerly Government Chief Whip and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, was awarded Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath for political and public service.