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Local election 2021 RESULTS LIVE

BORIS Johnson has hailed the local election results as “encouraging” but warned it’s still early days yet – with hundreds of results yet to come in.

The PM has been out and about in Hartlepool this afternoon to meet with their new MP, the first Tory to hold the seat since it was created.

The PM’s stunning by-election victory further demonstrated the redrawing of Britain’s political map, heaping pressure on Labour boss, Sir Keir Starmer.

Tory Jill Mortimer romped home in the North East town, winning it for the first time in more than 50 years with a massive 6,940 majority.

The PM’s party has also made huge gains in key council areas, including Harlow in Essex and Nuneaton and Bedworth, in Warwickshire.

After the humilitation, Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer is facing growing questions about his leadership and grumblings from across the party.

Left-wing vultures are circling after he lost Hartlepool to the Tories and also suffered a number of setbacks in local council races.

Allies of the former high-flying lawyer, who only took the reins in April last year are bullish and insist he isn’t considering standing down.

But there are growing questions over his strategy and MPs on the left who were loyal to ex chief Jeremy Corbyn are growing restless.

Read our Local Elections 2021 live blog below for up to the minute updates…

  • LABOUR’S STARMER FACES BACKLASH AFTER ‘SHATTERING’ HARTLEPOOL DEFEAT

    Sir Keir Starmer has come under fire from all sides after Labour suffered a crushing defeat in the Hartlepool by-election.

    In a stunning result, the Conservatives took the seat – which had been Labour-held since it was formed in 1974 – with a majority of 6,940.

    Boris Johnson hailed the outcome as “very encouraging” as the Conservatives appeared poised to make further gains in council elections across England.

    Allies of the Labour leader acknowledged that it was an “absolutely shattering” blow as another pillar in the party’s once impregnable “red wall” crumbled.

    They insisted however that Sir Keir would not be deflected from the course he had set out when he succeeded Jeremy Corbyn a little over a year ago.

  • KEIR BREAKS HIS SILENCE

    A clearly rattled Keir says he will take “full responsibility” for the “bitterly disappointing” results today and for where to the party is going next.

    He says that too often the party has been talking to themselves.

    And he vowed to do whatever is necessary to change the party’s prospects.

    Sir Keir admitted that the party had lost trust with voters and he would set out a “bold vision” going forwards.

    And when he’s challenged on whether he will have a Labour reshuffle, he replies: “We’ve been losing elections for ten years, it’s much more than personalities.”

    A rattled Sir Keir said he took responsibility for the results
    A rattled Sir Keir said he took responsibility for the results
  • KEIR STARMER INTENDS ‘TO DO WHATEVER IS NECESSARY TO WIN BACK THE TRUST OF WORKING PEOPLE’

    Speaking to the BBC now, Keir Starmer said: “We have lost the trust of working people in places like Hartlepool.

    “We need to win back their trust.”

    He added: “This is not a question of left or right, its a question of how we as a party face the country.

    “I intend to do whatever is necessary to win back that trust.”

  • SNP SCOOPS EAST LOTHIAN FROM LABOUR PARTY IN FIRST SCOTTISH ELECTION SWITCH

    The SNP has won the East Lothian constituency from the Labour Party in the first switch of the election.

    Paul McLennan won 17,968 votes in the seat, which was held by former Labour leader Iain Gray until his retirement this year.

    Scottish Labour’s candidate Martin Whitfield won 16,789 votes with a turnout of 69.1%.

  • HUMZA YOUSAF: ANTI-VACCINE PARTY MADE ‘BEELINE’ TOWARDS ME BECAUSE OF MY SKIN COLOUR

    Members of an anti-vaccine party made a “beeline” for Scotland’s Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf at the Glasgow election count – before members of other political parties joined the SNP to confront them.

    Derek Jackson, a candidate for Glasgow Southside, arrived at the count with supporters wearing black suits, yellow stars and armbands. They claimed their yellow stars were “sheriff’s badges” – though they had “unvax” written on them.

    Mr Jackson, who is also known as Deek Jackson, is standing for the Liberal Party – a small group unconnected to the Liberal Democrats. Speaking to reporters after the incident, Mr Yousaf said: “What I’m always struck by is voices of good always outweigh the voices of hatred.

    “If anyone witnessed that exchange there – when they were directing questions at me about Pakistan, obviously because of my colour of skin, I’m not from Pakistan, my home is in Scotland.

    “I was delighted to be joined my colleagues right across the political parties, from Labour and other parties, standing in unity with me. So I’m pleased their voices were drowned out.

    “You had six muppets here and then you very quickly had 25 people on the other side telling them where to go. That to me is the best of Scotland really.”

  • THE BOJO OF BLACKBURN

    Remember the guy from earlier who won his council seat after the hilarious video – Tiger Patel?

    He’s the new Boris of Blackburn…

    Responding to the news, Mr Patel tweeted: “THANK YOU, Great People of Audley & Queen’s Park!

    “I will be Councillor for all! Thank you, thank you!”

    Mr Patel has become well known locally for similar videos highlighting what he says are some of the main issues in the area, including fly-tipping, potholes and the state of local facilities, like the parks.

    He previously ran as an independent but said he was moved to run as a Conservative this time after seeing Boris Johnson make speeches on TV – and says he has even been compared with the Prime Minister.

    “I’m inspired by Boris Johnson,” he said.

    “He’s popular, and I’m also popular in Blackburn.

    “Somebody said I was the BoJo of Blackburn.”

  • TEES VALLEY RESULT

    Wow, the Tories have totally smashed it in Tees Valley, with Ben Houchen romping to victory by getting re-elected as the regional mayor.

    He’s got an incredible 72.8 per cent of the vote, compared to 27.2 per cent for Labour candidate Jessie Joe Jacobs.

    Simply incredible numbers for the Tories – a landslide of a re-election…

    That’s 22 per cent more than he got last time around.

    Mind-blowing.

    Ben having a beer with Hancock last week
    Ben having a beer with Hancock last weekCredit: Getty
  • GREAT SCOT

    Uh oh, it doesn’t sound particularly good for the SNP in Scotland.

    Nicola Sturgeon was always going to have a fight on her hands to win a majority, and it looks like the early results are that she might fall short.

    She’s been speaking in the last few minutes, and has said: “A majority has always been a long shot, the Holyrood system is a proportional representational system.

    “It has always been on a knife edge – a small number of votes in a small number of seats.

    “So we’ll wait and see how those votes pan out, but at this stage in the results, and there’s a long way to go.”

    However, she added that she is “extremely happy that the SNP is on track for a fourth consecutive victory and the ability to form a government again”.

    The SNP boss said: “That’s an extraordinary achievement for any political party and if that’s how the elections turns out then I’ll be eager and ready to get back to work on behalf of the people of Scotland.”

    The results for her MSP seat are expected soon… she’s set to win of course.

    Sturgeon is talking down her chances of winning a majority in the Scottish Parliament - meaning she may have to do a deal with another party
    Sturgeon is talking down her chances of winning a majority in the Scottish Parliament – meaning she may have to do a deal with another partyCredit: EPA
  • KEIR WHO?

    And on Labour boss, Sir Keir Starmer, the British public are divided about his ability to lead Labour to a position to challenge the Conservatives. 

    Of the voting public, 41 per cent say that he could challenge the Tories, and 52 per cent say he can’t.

    Of the people who voted Labour, 41 per cent they didn’t trust the opposition – so the Government.

    38 per cent said they have “policies they can get behind” and the same amount said their plans would benefit people like them.

    The PM as he leaves Jacksons Wharf pub in Hartlepool
    The PM as he leaves Jacksons Wharf pub in HartlepoolCredit: AFP
  • IN RISHI WE TRUST

    Some interesting numbers in that poll, too.

    Rishi Sunak is the most trusted member of the cabinet, while Michael Gove is the least. Full results below…

    • Boris Johnson; Trust: 36% / Distrust: 45% 
    • Dominic Raab; Trust: 29% / Distrust: 41% 
    • Matt Hancock; Trust: 30% / Distrust: 45% 
    • Michael Gove; Trust: 19% / Distrust: 52% 
    • Priti Patel; Trust: 23% / Distrust: 50% 
    • Rishi Sunak; Trust 42% / Distrust: 31% 
  • SNAP ANALYSIS

    According to fresh stats out today from Norstat, 54 per cent who opted for the Tories said the vaccine rollout had impressed them.

    Another 52 per cent said they didn’t trust the opposition.

    44 per cent agreed that the Tories would bring about a strong recovery from the pandemic.

    The PM helping fix a leaky pipe earlier on in the day
    The PM helping fix a leaky pipe earlier on in the dayCredit: Reuters
  • WHERE’S KEIR?

    Sir Keir leaving his house this morning, but said nothing to the waiting cameras
    Sir Keir leaving his house this morning, but said nothing to the waiting camerasCredit: EPA

    Where’s the Labour leader? We’ve not heard anything from him today as leaders and MPs past and present go on the airwaves to talk about the dire results in Hartlepool.

    And many of them were not short of their own ideas on how they can win back support among traditional heartlands.

    You’d think after losing one of the party’s main heartlands he’d be speaking to people in Labour HQ and consulting his top team on where to go and what to do next…

    Will we hear from him by the end of the day?

  • HAVING FUN IN HARTLEPOOL

    Boris is living it up in Hartlepool this afternoon as he does his victory lap following the historic by-election win.

    The PM after pulling off his election win
    The PM after pulling off his election winCredit: PA
    The PM with the new Tory MP Jill Mortimer
    The PM with the new Tory MP Jill MortimerCredit: PA
    Boris addresses the media this afternoon
    Boris addresses the media this afternoonCredit: PA
    Boris taking a selfie with a fan
    Boris taking a selfie with a fanCredit: PA
  • DECADE IN THE SUN?

    It’s really pretty unprecedented for the incumbent Government to be making this many gains, and by a huge margin.

    MP Neil O’Brien says now’s the time to “change the country for the better”.

    It does beg the question why they feel like they haven’t been doing so already…

  • SWINNEY SWINGS ON

    Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney has retained his Perthshire North seat in the Scottish Elections.

    Mr Swinney polled a total of 19,860 votes, extending his majority over the Conservatives in the constituency.

    Tory candidate Murdo Fraser came in second with 15,807 votes, with Labour in third place and the Liberal Democrats fourth.

  • THE BOJO OF BLACKBURN

    Remember the guy from earlier who won his council seat after the hilarious video – Tiger Patel?

    He’s the new Boris of Blackburn…

    Responding to the news, Mr Patel tweeted: “THANK YOU, Great People of Audley & Queen’s Park!

    “I will be Councillor for all! Thank you, thank you!”

    Mr Patel has become well known locally for similar videos highlighting what he says are some of the main issues in the area, including fly-tipping, potholes and the state of local facilities, like the parks.

    He previously ran as an independent but said he was moved to run as a Conservative this time after seeing Boris Johnson make speeches on TV – and says he has even been compared with the Prime Minister.

    “I’m inspired by Boris Johnson,” he said.

    “He’s popular, and I’m also popular in Blackburn.

    “Somebody said I was the BoJo of Blackburn.”

  • BIG BORIS, LITTLE BORIS

    Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
    Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

    When the PM met the inflatable version of himself in Hartlepool… what a moment.

  • IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT BREXIT

    And here are the PM’s full remarks from Hartlepool this afternoon.

    Boris Johnson says Hartlepool win for Tories is down to more than Brexit
  • ROAD TO FREEDOM

    On his trip to the North East, the PM has also insisted there’s “no evidence” he’ll need to delay the roadmap out of lockdown.

    Boris said the UK needs to “continue the vaccine rollout, making sure we go from jabs, jabs, jabs to jobs, jobs, jobs”.

    And he added the Government will be “absolutely ruthless in surge testing” to contain the Indian variant.

    He said: “It’s been very important for our country that we’re able to get through Covid as fast as we can.

    “We’ve got to always bear in mind this thing isn’t over. The epidemiology is very encouraging at the moment but we’ve got to continue to be cautious.

    “We’ll continue with the cautious but irreversible steps of the roadmap. I can’t see any reason now to delay the steps we’ve got ahead of us.”

    Boris Johnson says he sees no reason to change any stages of Covid roadmap
  • ‘WELL DONE BORIS!’

    Boris Johnson has arrived in Hartlepool, where he’s been hailing the Government’s levelling up agenda as key to the election success.

    One voter approached the PM to tell him “well down Boris”, to which he gave a big thumbs up and replied “thank you, sir!”.

    He said: “What this election shows is that people want a party of government that is focussed on them, focussed on delivering change.

    “People can see we did get Brexit done and what people want us to do now is get on with delivering on everything else.

    “There’s genius and talent and enthusiasm and flair everywhere in the country.

    “But opportunity is not evenly distributed. That’s the basic idea and that’s what we’re trying to change.”

  • SAVAGE TAKE

    Labour’s Labour, who served under Tony Blair, has some harsh words for Labour boss Sir Keir Starmer this afternoon.

    He says he’s just a “transitional figure – a nice man and good human rights lawyer, but without political skills or antennae at the highest level.”

    Ouch.

    The question how is “what Keir transitions to and when” and whether Labour needs to lose another election “before choosing a leader who can win”.

    Doesn’t sound like he’s hugely confident in his chances….

  • THE STATE OF PLAY

    Here’s a tally of all the latest results from across the country so far. Grim reading for Labour.

  • ‘A TERRIBLE CAMPAIGN’

    Sir Keir Starmer’s woes keep mounting today – and now two former Labour advisers have ripped into his “terrible” election campaign.

    Andrew Fisher, who was head of policy for Jeremy Corbyn, called it “vacuous” and said the party “didn’t offer anything” nationally.

    He told Sky News: “All there was was a series of set piece photos of Keir Starmer drinking beer, or posing with wallpaper, or with the Union Jack.”

    Ayesha Hazarika, who was an adviser under Ed Miliband, admitted Labour is now “deeply unpopular” with large parts of the electorate.

    She said: “I suspect what’s going to happen now is we all have a giant big old stooshie [row] within the Labour Party – which we love doing more than anything – and everybody will use this terrible night and this really bad weekend ahead of us to confirm their own bias.

    “We’ve had thousands and thousands of listening events, the problem is we never actually listen.”

  • OH JEREMY

    Jeremy Corbyn has piped up to have a swipe at Keir Starmer saying he must offer a “bolder vision” – in other words more left wing policies like his own.

    The current Labour leader’s allies have blamed the mess he inherited from his predecessor for today’s disastrous election result.

  • HOT TAKES, GET THEM HERE

    Len has said people don’t know what Labour stands for and don’t know what Sir Keir’s vision is.

    More focus on the message, rather than messenger… for now.

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