LABOUR ousted health minister Andrew Stephenson in the sprawling new Pendle and Clitheroe constituency.

Former police officer Jonathan Hinder won the seat by just 902 votes as a big surge for Reform UK’s Victoria Fletcher ate into the Conservative performance.

The new seat lost the Brierfield East and Clover Hill and Brierfield West and Reedley wards to the Burnley constituency but gained the Chatburn, East Whalley, Read and Simonstone, Edisford and Low Moor, Littlemoor, Primrose, Sabben, Salthill, St. Mary’s, Whalley and Painter Wood, and Wiswell and Barrow wards from the current Ribble Valley seat.

In 2019 Mr Stephenson won the old Pendle seat based around the local authority boundaries by 6,168 votes.

But this time round he got 15,227 to Mr Hinder’s 16,129.

Reform UK’s Ms Fletcher got 8,171 in third place while NHS consultant Anna Fryer got 2,039.

Mr Hinder said: “It is an incredible honour to be chosen as Pendle and Clitheroe’s voice in Parliament. I will work to improve the lives of every single constituent, whether they voted for me or not.

“I want to pay tribute to Andrew Stephenson. He has worked hard for Pendle for 14 years and I wish him well for the future.

“I know that there are no quick fixes to the deep-rooted problems our country faces, but tonight is a turning point in the history of our country. The Labour government which has been elected now has the opportunity to rebuild our country, and that is what we will do.

“I cannot wait to get straight to work, serving the people of Pendle and Clitheroe.”

Mr Stephenson said: “I would like to congratulate Jonathan on his victory. This area is a truly special and wonderful part of the country and I wish him well in representing the new ‘Pendle and Clitheroe’ constituency.

“Can I also thank my own team who have gone above and beyond to see if we could defy all the opinion polls and buck the trend. Sadly, it wasn’t to be.

“During the campaign lots of residents thanked me for help I had provided them, but in reality, I have been truly blessed with incredibly dedicated staff who would always go above and beyond to help local people.

“Most of all can I thank the voters. The tens of thousands who have voted for me in the past four General Elections and in this one.

“Giving me the opportunity to make a positive difference to our area and our nation.”

Dr Fryer said: “Thank you to everyone who voted for the Liberal Democrats, in a close contest, our vote was squeezed in Pendle and Clitheroe.

“But our campaign to save the NHS won a lot of traction.”

The full result was: Victoria Fletcher Reform UK 8,171; Anna Fryer Liberal Democrat 2,039; Syed Hashmi Workers Party 336; Jonathan Hinder Labour Party 16,129; Tony Johnson Independent133; Zulfi Khan Independent 3,108; Lex Kristan The Green Party 1,42; Andrew Stephenson Conservative 15,227; and Christopher Thompson Rejoin EU190. The turnout was 59.55 per cent.