LADY Ann Winterton brushed off the controversy which has plagued her in recent years to become Congleton MP for the sixth successive term.

Her husband Nicholas Winterton also retained a Tory grip on neighbouring Macclesfield to ensure he rejoins his wife in Parliament.

Last year Mrs Winterton was branded 'The laziest MP in Britain' by a national newspaper after Labour candidate Nicholas Milton claimed she had not held a surgery in 21 years.

She also hit the national headlines over jokes which backfired but despite Mr Milton's fiercely aggressive campaign he made little impact as Lady Winterton increased her majority.

Lady Winterton, who has never lost an election, said she would not be resting on her laurels.

She added: 'I make one promise every single election, which is that I will do my level best to represent all my constituents irrespective of whether they voted for me or not.'

The Conservative victor said she would not be making another attempt to gain a seat in the Shadow Cabinet, saying backbench work is what she enjoyed.

Mr Milton stressed he was not disappointed after Labour's vote went down by 2.8% but the biggest surprise of the night came from the Liberal Democrat candidate Eleanor Key who almost snatched second place from Labour as she upped her party's share of the vote by 5.3%.

Miss Key said the result proved the party has clawed back some support in an area which was once a stronghold.

She added: 'In 2001 we were in a weak position so it is good to see we are recovering.' The turnout was 64.41%, which is up on the last election in 2001.


Lady Ann Winterton (Con) 21,189 Nicholas Milton (Lab)12,943 Eleanor Key (Liberal Dem) 12,550 Majority 8,246 Turnout 64.15%

Swing: 0.92% from Labour to Conservative


Ann Winterton (Con) 20,872 John Flanagan (Lab) 13,738 David Lloyd-Griffiths (Lib Dem) 9,719 Bill Young (UK Independence) 754 Majority 7,134 Turnout 62.9%