A CONSERVATIVE stronghold in the Braintree district is set to continue after two Tory MPs were re-elected in the General Election.

The Braintree and Witham counts took place from 10pm on July 4 to just gone 6.30am on July 5, at Tabor Academy, in Panfield Lane, and two familiar faces are back representing the constituencies.

Ballot papers were not verified until after 3am, when the the counting could start.

James Cleverly was re-elected as the MP of Braintree and Dame Priti Patel was re-elected for Witham.

The total turnout for both Braintree and Witham constituencies was 63.85 per cent, down from the General Election in 2019, when it was 67.49 per cent.

Mr Cleverly received 17,414 votes and Dame Patel received 18,827.

Delighted - James Cleverly being interviewed by the media following his winDelighted - James Cleverly being interviewed by the media following his win (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Cleverly spoke to the Braintree and Witham Times after his acceptance speech.

He said: “It’s a privilege and an honour to be returned to Parliament.

“I love this constituency, I love the people of the constituency, so it is a genuine honour.

“Of course, that is tinged with sadness about the national result.

"It has been a very difficult night for us nationally.

“We do need to think very carefully about why that has happened.

“As I said at the podium, I think there may be a desire not just within the Conservative party but more broadly, to try and apply simplistic answers to complicated problems.

“The British people, the people of Braintree deserve better than that, so proper analysis as to what people are telling us and how we respond to that, I think is really important.”

The Braintree and Witham Times did approach Dame Priti for a comment on her win, but she was not willing to comment after her acceptance speech on the podium.

Chelsey Jay, a Witham resident who was also contending the seat in the election, said: “It’s a really weird bittersweet feeling now that the General Election is done.

"I feel relieved that it is over and I can now crack on as life does stop when you are running in an election as you’re all in.

Celebrating - Priti Patel after winning the seat for WithamCelebrating - Priti Patel after winning the seat for Witham (Image: Newsquest)


Gave it her best - Chelsey Jay at the countGave it her best - Chelsey Jay at the count (Image: Newsquest)

“I’m kind of glad I can take a breath now. I am gutted and I’m really gutted with the Reform UK result as Witham is my home and knowing that Reform not only beat me but got so many votes, and that the candidate didn’t even show up…

“I’ve been up for almost two days and that’s going to be such a massive punch to the chest really.

"But this is politics and you never really know how it’s going to go.

“As an independent, you do have a bit of a rough idea it was always going to be hard.”