By-elections: Selby winner, 25, becomes 'Baby of the House' as youngest MP

Keir Mather, 25, is set to become the youngest MP in the House of Commons. Credit: PA

The winning Labour candidate in the Selby and Ainsty by-election has become the "Baby of the House" as the youngest MP at the age of 25.

Keir Mather overturned a huge Conservative majority of more than 20,000 in the traditionally safe Tory seat, with a 23.7% swing from Tory to Labour.

But he has already faced criticism for his age, with Conservative MP Johnny Mercer referring to the new Labour MP with an "Inbetweeners" jibe on Sky News.

He said: "I think we mustn't become a repeat of The Inbetweeners, you have got to have people who have done stuff."

Mr Mercer added: "You put a chip in him there and he just relates Labour lines."

Previously, the veterans minister also said that the 25-year-old had "been at Oxford University more than he has been in a job".

And it's not the only criticism targeted at Mr Mather within just hours of his historic victory in Selby and Ainsty.

Responding to a comment that he's now the "baby of the House", Mr Mather joked that he had "heard far worse".

Delivering his victory speech in the small hours of Friday morning, the 25-year-old said he "understood the enormity" of what had happened.

"We have rewritten the rules on where Labour can win. People have opened their doors to us and embraced our positive vision for the future," he said.

"The people of Selby & Ainsty have sent a clear message. For too long, Conservatives up here and in Westminster have failed us, and today that changes.

"Over the past few months, speaking to hundreds of people on the doorstep, I've encountered so much hardship. Hardship made worse by 13 years of negligence and complacency from the Conservatives."

'The people of Selby and Ainsty have sent a clear message' - Labour candidate Keir Mather

Speaking to journalists after the results were announced at Selby Leisure Centre, Mr Mather said he hopes his age proves to other young people that they can "make a difference".

When challenged about his life experience, he said: "Well, I'm a taxpayer too, I feel the pressures like anyone else."

The new Labour MP said his first priority in office would be setting up financial support centres in the constituency, for people to get expert help with issues including mortgage payments and energy bills.

He also told journalists that he supported Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer's policy of keeping the two-child benefit cap, saying: "I think we're going to inherit an absolute economic mess from the Conservatives when we take power and we're going to have to make extremely difficult decisions once we do, and I support the Labour government in doing so."

Sir Keir was among the first to celebrate the victory on Friday morning, tweeting that Mr Mather's win demonstrates a "demand for change.

"Only Labour can deliver that change, and build a better Britain," he added.

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