Tory Ben Houchen Re-Elected As Tees Valley Mayor With Thumping Majority As Labour Lose Council Leaders
The Conservatives' Ben Houchen has been re-elected as Tees Valley mayor with a thumping majority (Alamy)
The Conservatives have cemented their success in Labour’s former North East heartlands after Ben Houchen was re-elected as the Tees Valley mayor with a thumping majority.
The result caps off a disastrous first day of results for Sir Keir Starmer from yesterday’s “Super Thursday” elections, having lost the Hartlepool by-election and more than 100 councillors across England with less than a quarter of results in.
Labour had hoped to signify the start of their recovery in the so-called “Red Wall” by winning the Tees Valley mayoralty after Houchen was elected in 2017 with a wafer-thin majority.
But this time round the result was much more definitive, after he picked up almost 73% of votes in the first round, winning the contest outright.
Last time he got 40,278 votes in the first round, but on an improved turnout it was revealed Houchen, a popular local figure, got 121,964, with Labour’s Jessie Joe Jacobs getting 45,641.
The damaging result for Starmer comes after the Tories won the parliamentary seat of Hartlepool this morning with a huge majority of almost 7,000 votes.
North Yorkshire farmer Jill Mortimer defeated Labour's Paul Williams and was elected as the town's first Conservative MP in 50 years in a major upset.
Since then the news has not got any better for the leader of the opposition, with six Labour group leaders - including two council leaders - have lost their seats.
The party is already in control of three fewer local authorities while the Tories are now in charge of four more, with only 39 of 143 councils having declared.
The leader in Sheffield, Bob Johnson, lost his seat to the Green Party candidate as the city’s council moved from Labour to no overall control.
In Oldham the council leader Sean Fielding was beaten by the Failsworth Independents, but Labour remained in control overall despite losing six seats in total.
In Nottinghamshire, Northumberland, Leicestershire and Derbyshire the leaders of the Labour group also lost their seats.
The rest of England’s election results, including high-profile mayoralties in the West Midlands and London, will be announced over the weekend, as will the votes in the Scottish and Welsh Parliaments.
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