Laurie Penny rejoins the New Statesman

The columnist returns.

Laurie Penny is rejoining the New Statesman in the new position of contributing editor.

From the beginning of November, she will write a column for the magazine and a weekly blog for NewStatesman.com.  

Laurie Penny said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to work with the Independent over the past nine months, but I am delighted to be rejoining the New Statesman as Contributing Editor. The decision to leave the Independent was a difficult one but this new role offers me a chance to move my writing in a new direction. I am extremely excited to be back at my old stable.”

Jason Cowley, the New Statesman's editor, said: “I’m delighted Laurie is coming back to the NS. She is one of the outstanding talents of her generation and I’ve missed her voice. She will write a column for the magazine and a weekly blog.”

For more details, please contact Charlotte Simmonds on charlotte.simmonds@newstatesman.co.uk  

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Labour slumps to fourth place in North Hykeham and Sleaford by-election

Conservative candidate Caroline Johnson eased to victory as Labour tumbled from second to fourth place.

Caroline Johnson was elected as the Conservative MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham, while Labour slumped from second to fourth behind Ukip and the Liberal Democrats, who finished second and third respectively. The by-election was triggered by the resignation of Stephen Philips.

The seat, which has been safely Conservative since its creation, backed Brexit by a 20-point margin on 23 June. The Tory victory, with 53.5 per cent of the vote, is one of the party’s all-time best by-election performances while in government. 

Johnson won with 17,570 votes. In second was Ukip's Victoria Ayling, with 4,426 votes. Ross Pepper recieved 3,606 votes, while Labour's Jim Clarke got 3,363 votes.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.