General election update: Prentis says Banbury MP role is an ‘extraordinary privilege’

Victoria Prentis is the new MP for Banbury after she held the Conservative stronghold in her first general election campaign.

Aynho-born Prentis, 43, was selected to stand as the Conservative candidate for Banbury after Sir Tony Baldry stood down after 32 years as the area’s MP.

Victoria Prentis

Victoria Prentis

She retained the seat for the Conseravtives with 30,749 votes – a majority of 18,395 over second-placed candidate Sean Woodcock of the Labour Party.

The majority was a small increase on the figure of 18,227 returned by Sir Tony when he last won the seat at the 2010 election.

In her acceptance speech Mrs Prentis paid tribute to the former Banbury MP for his years of service and said: “I’d like to pay tribute to my distinguished predecessors, not least among them Sir Tony Baldry who has served this constituency, as did the others, for so long and so well. I only hope that I can do the same.

“Locally we are reaping the benefits of some sensible, sound and economic management over the last five years, and I am looking forward after the fantastic results tonight of five more years of sensible, aspirational, tax-cutting, Conservative government.”

“I must also thank very much the other candidates who run a spirited campaign. My personal thanks must go to the North Oxfordshire Conservatives. The team was fantastic from beginning to end and Chris and Steph needed to be singled out for praise.

“It is an extraordinary priviledge to be elected to represent the area where I was born. I will work hard and I am determined to represent all of my constituents.”

Mrs Prentis served as head of justice and security at the Treasury Solicitors Department until she resigned ahead of the election campaign.

Mother to two daughters, who attend school in Oxford, she is married to barrister Sebastian Prentis.

She is the daughter of Lord Boswell of Aynho, who served as Member of Parliament for Daventry from 1987-2010.

There was a turnout of 65.84 per cent per cent in the Banbury constituency, compared to 64.7 per cent at the last general election in 2010.

Mrs Prentis’ victory means the Conservative Party has now held the Banbury seat since 1922.

Full results were:

Victoria Prentis (Con) – 30,749

Sean Woodcock (Lab) – 12,354

Dickie Bird (UKIP) – 8,050

John Howson (Lib Dem) – 3,440

Ian Middleton (Green) – 2,686

Roseanne Edwards (National Health Action Party) – 729