OUSTED Conservative MP Craig Williams refused to talk to the press after being beaten into third place - with Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr now represented by Labour.

Steve Witherden won the seat for Labour, picking up 12,709 votes, with Reform’s Oliver Lewis coming second and Craig Williams coming in third with 7,775 votes.

Mr Williams’ campaign was embroiled in controversy after he revealed he was being investigated by the Gambling Commission over allegations he placed a £100 bet on the date of the general election.

As a result of the investigation, the Conservative party withdrew support for Mr Williams, who in 2019 had a majority of 12,138.

Mr Williams said he had made a ‘huge error in judgement’ but vowed to fight for the seat.

The Conservatives coming third was one of the shocks of a seismic night in British politics, with the Tories no longer having any MPs in Wales.

Montgomeryshire WItherden
This is the first time Montgomeryshire has elected a Labour MP (Labour)

Speaking following the historic result, Mr Witherden said: “I am beyond humbled to have been elected Member of Parliament for Montgomeryshire and Glyndŵr – the first time Montgomeryshire has ever returned a Labour MP.

“I thank the voters for putting their trust in me and in the Labour Party to bring change to our constituency and congratulate all candidates for a well-fought campaign.

“The hard work has already begun. I will deliver on my promises of returning prosperity to our constituency, supporting small businesses and farmers, working with Labour governments in Westminster and Cardiff to improve cross-border healthcare and drive down waiting lists, while investing in green energy and safeguarding our countryside.

“People in every corner of our constituency have put their trust in me to be a representative for Montgomeryshire and Glyndŵr in all its diversity.

“Thank you to everyone who has contacted me since my election. I am continuing to get my office set up. I will update everyone soon on how best to contact me and when surgeries will be taking place.

“For now please get in touch at [email protected]

Following the declaration, Mr Williams gave a speech on the stage and said: “First of all congratulations very much indeed to Steve. You have a great job and I wish you all the best in it.

“I want to quickly thank my whole team on how they conducted this election. I would also like to thank the electors of the old seat of Montgomeryshire for putting their trust in me last time and allow me my dream job, representing my home.

“I thoroughly enjoyed it and am very sad I could not earn their trust this time. I’d also like to put on the record my apologies to my team, my family, the constituents of Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr for what has been an election with some ups and downs.

“It has been the honour of my life to have done the job and I look forward to what comes ahead.

“Steve, congratulations again and good luck; treasure it, it’s a great job.”

Mr Williams however refused to answer any questions from the media before he departed the building on whether the betting scandal was the reason for his defeat.

He has since deleted his X account (formerly Twitter).

Reform candidate Oliver Lewis came second on the night and hailed ‘a civilised campaign’.

Elwyn Vaughan for Plaid Cymru said he felt he had had a good campaign and was welcomed by people, adding that this result would be a marker in the sand and that he intended to stand for the Senedd elections.

Turnout in the newly formed Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr seat was 69.8 per cent.

The full results were: Jeremy Brignell-Thorp, Green Party, 1,744; Oliver Lewis, Reform UK, 8,894; Glyn Preston, Liberal Democrats, 6,470; Elwyn Vaughan, Plaid Cymru, 5,667; Craig Williams, Independent (formerly Conservative), 7,775; Steve Witherden, Labour: 12,709.