The General Election war of words between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats in Lichfield continued even after the results had been announced.
Michael Fabricant retained the seat for the Tories and extended his majority to more than 23,000.
But part of the campaign had seen him criticise what he branded as “appalling” comments in campaign literature from Lib Dem rival Cllr Paul Ray.
The long-standing Conservative MP was called “daft, rude and a caricature” in the Liberal Democrat leaflet.
But any hope of burying the hatchet disappeared as Mr Fabricant thanked all of his election rivals in Lichfield and Burntwood for fighting a fair campaign – with the notable exception of Cllr Ray:
“I’d like to give thanks to thank the candidates from the Labour Party and the Green Party, as well as the independent candidate for such a fair fight which was gentile, decent and they were not personal in their approach.
“It shows that being nice doesn’t lose votes.”Michael Fabricant’s General Election victory speech
Mr Fabricant then went on to shake the hands of each of his rivals on the stage – with the notable exception of the Lib Dem candidate.
And as the representatives left the announcement area, Cllr Ray approached the Conservative victor – but no handshake was forthcoming after an awkward exchange.
Mr Fabricant admitted to Lichfield Live that he had been concerned the personal attacks may have an impact on the overall outcome of the vote.
“I thought the campaign was a little unpleasant in places and I wondered whether that would affect the result.
“But apparently not.”Michael Fabricant
Full General Election results for the Lichfield consitituency:
- Michael Fabricant (Conservatives) – 34,844
- John Madden (Independent) – 568
- Andrea Muckley (Green Party) – 1,743
- Paul Ray (Lib Dems) – 5,632
- Dave Robertson (Labour) – 11,206