LABOUR’S candidate for Clacton said "it was always going to be a tough campaign” as Nigel Farage and Reform took the seat.

Jovan Owusu-Nepaul came third with 7,448 votes, behind Reform with 21,225 votes and the Conservatives on 12,820 votes.

Mr Owusu-Nepaul said: “We have campaigned entirely with the spirit of our values, our principles and I am really proud of the campaign, proud with the team we have worked with, and we put a good show in for the Labour party.

“I am looking forward to the Labour party delivering in the coming months and years.

Waiting - Nigel Farage (centre left), Jovan Owusu-Nepaul (centre), and Giles Watling (centre-right)Waiting - Nigel Farage (centre left), Jovan Owusu-Nepaul (centre), and Giles Watling (centre-right) (Image: Steve Brading)

Asked about the controversy in the media about whether he had left Clacton to go campaign in the East Midlands for Labour, Mr Owusu-Nepaul said: “I have been in Clacton and we have been campaigning for every vote - every professional political party should recognise that.

“We had people support campaigns across the country and I have been campaigning here."

Jovan was asked why he chose not to do an interview with the Clacton Gazette – unlike the other eight candidates – and if that hurt his chances.

Mr Owusu-Nepaul said: “This was always going to be a tough campaign for the Labour party in Clacton.

“But we spend most of our time speaking to residents on the doors and putting forward our message."

Nigel Farage, of the Reform Party, won the Clacton seat with 21,225 votes – overturning Conservative candidate Giles Watling's 25,000-strong majority from the last General Election.