TEMPERS flared and hecklers exchanged barbs as Labour candidate Tonia Antoniazzi delivered a strident victory speech after holding the Gower seat.

Ms Antoniazzi won with 20,208 votes, keeping second-placed Francesca O’Brien, of the Conservatives, at bay.

The Labour MP thanked her staff and everyone who voted for her, saying she felt guilty for having to ask for their approval again.

Voters had, she said, been “disastrously served by a political shambles”.

Without naming Ms O’Brien, she said she had “heartfelt advice” for one of her fellow candidates – namely that if the Brexit vote had been for anything, it was a “cry in the dark for people who believed they counted for nothing”.

Ms Antoniazzi said: “The last decade shows what happens when you ignore people.”

Some people watching on, at Swansea’s LC, shouted “rubbish” – and were in turn greeted by cries of “you lost”.

Taking up the theme, Ms Antoniazzi said: “While you may think it is rubbish, there is a hard truth to accept.”

She said she hoped this general election would be the last to be affected by “alternative facts and Trumpian politics”.

She added: “We all deserve better.”

Ms O’Brien, who got 18,371 votes, thanked her supporters and congratulated her Labour rival on her victory.

Plaid Cymru’s John Davies was third with 2,288 votes; Liberal Democrat Sam Bennett fourth with 2,236 votes; and the Bexit Party’s Rob Ross fifth with 1,379.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporter Service, Ms O’Brien said she was “over the moon” to have come second in her first general election.

“I am really proud that I have led a positive campaign from start to finish,” she said.

Thanking her party colleagues, she said knocking on doors in the winter was “really mentally tough and draining”.

Asked about comments she had made on social media in 2014 about the Channel 4 programme Benefits Street, which resurfaced at the start of this election campaign, Ms O’Brien insisted they had not damaged her chances.

“Absolutely not,” she said. “The people who know me well know it was taken out of context.”

The post that caused most offence said “these people need putting down!”, but Ms O’Brien said it was a throwaway comment – and that there had been “a little bit of a smear campaign”.

She said she was all for the benefits system but “did not believe in benefits cheats whatsoever”.

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