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Home Secretary holds on to her seat with reduced majority after recount

Amber Rudd kept Hastings and Rye by a mere 346 votes.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd narrowly retained her seat in Hastings and Rye with a slim 346 majority after early speculation she was poised to become the most senior Cabinet minister to lose out.

Ms Rudd, who saw her majority of more than 4,700 collapse, came ahead of Labour’s Peter Chowney by claiming 25,668 votes following one recount.

Her marginal win came in the face of an alliance struck by the Green Party and Labour in the East Sussex resort in a bid to oust Ms Rudd.

The Greens, who gained nearly 2,000 votes in Hastings and Rye in 2015, agreed not to stand in the seaside seat in return for various pledges from Labour, including for electoral reform and to oppose fracking.

Turnout was 70.05%, up from 68% in 2015. Ms Rudd said: “I’m deeply honoured to have been re-elected for now a third time by the residents of Hastings and Rye.”

The former investment banker, venture capitalist and financial journalist took the seat from Labour in 2010, and has enjoyed a rapid rise through the ranks, culminating in her taking the key role of running Britain’s counter-terrorism efforts, police forces and immigration policies.

She was one of the few senior Conservatives to play a high-profile role in the campaign, standing in for Theresa May in the leadership debates.

Ms Rudd proved to be a capable replacement for the Prime Minister, who was criticised for failing to take part.

In recent days, as the election was overshadowed by the Manchester and London terror attacks, Ms Rudd was called on to defend the Tories’ record on policing.

She rejected suggestions after the London Bridge attack that a 20,000 fall in the number of police officers had made the UK more vulnerable to terrorism.

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