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Election results: Labor left wing calls for change from Sir Keir Starmer after ‘shattering’ defeat at Hartlepool | Political news

Sir Keir Starmer is facing calls for a ‘change of direction’ from the Labor left wing after becoming the first leader to see the party lose Hartlepool in 47 years.

Labor suffered ‘shattering’ defeat in Thursday’s by-election lost to the Conservatives by 6,940 votes.

The result strengthens Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s majority in the House of Commons and also gives him another brick in the “red wall” of Labor.

UK elections live: follow the latest results and reactions to the ‘Super Thursday’ vote count

Conservative candidate Jill Mortimer, who will now become Hartlepool’s new MP, won more than half of all the votes as the Tories edged out Labor to second in the constituency in the 2019 general election.

Hartlepool’s vote – along with this week’s local election – was Sir Keir’s first major electoral test after just over a year as Labor leader.

And the by-election defeat has focused its scrutiny on his performance over the past 12 months, with critics from the Labor left wing seizing on the result to urge Sir Keir to adjust his strategy.

Sir Keir remained silent as he left his north London home on Friday morning.

But allies of Sir Keir’s predecessor Jeremy Corbyn were quick to point out that Labor had twice won the Hartlepool seat under Mr Corbyn’s leadership in recent years.

Full election results

“It is not possible to blame Jeremy Corbyn for this result,” former Labor shadow secretary Diane Abbott said on Twitter.

“Labor has won the seat twice under his leadership. Keir Starmer needs to rethink his strategy.”

Another of the former ministers in Mr Corbyn’s shadow cabinet, Richard Burgon, said Labor was “retreating in the areas we need to win”.

“Union leaders must change direction urgently,” he added.

“He should start by defending popular policies in our recent manifestos – supported by a large majority of voters.”

And a left-wing campaign group …

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This notice was published: 2021-05-07 09:17:00