But rival-in-the-wings Johnson refuses to talk to the media
JOHN McDONNELL retained his Commons seat yesterday after attracting more than 31,796 votes — up from 26,843 in the 2015 general election.
The shadow chancellor remains MP for Hayes and Harlington after receiving 66.5 per cent of the vote, 38 per cent more than the Tory who was his closest challenger.
He said it has been “the greatest honour of [his] life” to represent the constituency in which he lives.
In Mr McDonnell’s victory speech, he derided Theresa May for calling a snap election after denying that there would be one and attacked her for ignoring the underfunding of the NHS and the growing pressure placed on nurses in the fifth-richest country in the world.
Behind him on stage, defeated Tory candidate Greg Smith shook his head while the shadow chancellor also spoke about the schools funding crisis and cuts to police numbers.
“The refusal of Theresa May to debate the real issues while claiming the snap election was about Brexit — despite having no actual plan for it — has also led to the Tories’ diminished support,” he added.
Mr Smith was booed and branded “a sore loser” by some of those present after he likened Labour’s widely popular costed manifesto and hugely successful campaign to Mao Zedong’s Little Red Book and Karl Marx’s Capital.
Boris Johnson also kept his seat in nearby Uxbridge and South Ruislip with a roughly 5,000-vote majority over Labour challenger Vincent Lo.
Mr Johnson arrived without fanfare and stood in the vote count area that was closed off to journalists until the results were about to be announced, in marked contrast to Mr McDonnell, who was surrounded by an eager crowd of reporters and supporters when he entered the building.
The Foreign Secretary — who is rumoured to be vying to replace Ms May as Tory leader after her decision to call an early general election backfired — stood with his back to the media area for more than half an hour, leading many journalists to believe that he was doing this on purpose to avoid being questioned or pictured.
Though the hacks may have been unhappy at their treatment by Mr Johnson, many other people would surely be glad to see the back of him.