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Bernie Sanders congratulates Jeremy Corbyn, saying he is 'delighted' with General Election results

Bernie Sanders has congratulated Jeremy Corbyn after Labour exceeded expectations in the general election and looks to be on course to increase its number of parliamentary seats.

The former Democratic presidential candidate said he had stayed up to watch UK results come in and was “delighted” at what he had seen.

“I am delighted to see Labour do so well”, he told the Washington Post. “All over the world people are rising up against austerity and massive levels of income and wealth inequality. People in the UK, the US and elsewhere want governments that represent all the people, not just the 1 per cent. I congratulate Jeremy Corbyn for running a very positive and effective campaign.”

Mr Sanders had spoken warmly of Mr Corbyn during a visit to the UK earlier this month. Answering a question from The Independent following a speech at the Cambridge Union, the senator said: “Corbyn has shown a lot of courage in dealing with some of the economic issues.

“I applaud Jeremy Corbyn for raising those issues because at the end of the day if we are going to create governments that work for all of us, if we’re going to deal with healthcare and create great education systems and protect the environment and combat climate change… we need to have a government of what Abraham Lincoln described as of the people, by the people and for the people, and not a government of billionaires and large, multinational corporations. So I applaud Corbyn for raising those issues.”

Mr Corbyn has defied his critics in leading Labour to what looks set to be its best election result in years. Projections suggest the party is on course to receive 40 per cent of the vote, giving it 265 seats.

After a dramatic night:

  • Mrs May's party had 42.45% of the vote while Labour's share had increased by almost 10 points from its 2015 level to 39.99%.
     
  • The pound plummeted as the shock figures set the scene for political turmoil at Westminster, disruption to upcoming Brexit negotiations and the possibility of a second election later in the year.
     
  • Brussels' chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier indicated he was ready to delay the opening of negotiations on Britain's EU withdrawal, which had been due to start on June 19;
     
  • The night was marked by a collapse in Ukip support and a rash of high-profile losses for the SNP, as British politics returned to a two-party system on the greatest scale since the 1970s.
     
  • The Tories lost eight frontbenchers, with ministers Jane Ellison, Simon Kirby, Gavin Barwell, James Wharton, Nicola Blackwood, Rob Wilson and Edward Timpson going, along with Cabinet Office minister Ben Gummer, the author of the widely criticised Tory manifesto.

Speaking earlier in the night, Mr Corbyn said Labour had “changed the face of British politics”. He said: “I want to send my thanks to everyone who voted for our manifesto and its radical vision for a fairer Britain.

“Our team has worked so hard on this campaign – from door knocking to social media – and it’s great we have won so much support across the country. Whatever the final result, our positive campaign has changed politics for the better.”

Mr Corbyn also called on Theresa May to resign.

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"The prime minister called this election because she wanted a mandate”, he said after retaining his Islington North seat with an increased majority. “Well the mandate she's got is lost Conservative seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence.

"I would have thought that's enough to go, actually, and make way for a government that will be truly representative of all of the people of this country."

George Osborne's Evening Standard sticks the boot in

Meanwhile former chancellor George Osborne's Evening Standard has stuck the boot into Mrs May, saying her "authority is non-existent"

A damning editorial piece published in Friday's paper states: "We now have a minority Conservative government that is in office but not in power.

"The DUP does not support some central tenets of the Government’s economic and welfare plans.

"In this topsy-turvy world, the decisions that affect London will now be taken in Belfast.

"She herself said: "If I lose just six seats, I will lose this election". Team May lost twice that number.

"As an unelected premier, she had every right to seek a mandate. But she failed to frame what the election was about."

Theresa May's statement in full

Here is the text of Prime Minister Theresa May's statement in Downing Street following her meeting with the Queen:

"I have just been to see Her Majesty the Queen and I will now form a Government.

"A government that can provide certainty and lead Britain forward at this critical time for our country.

"This Government will guide the country through the crucial Brexit talks that begin in just 10 days and deliver on the will of the British people by taking the United Kingdom out of the European Union.

"It will work to keep our nation safe and secure by delivering the change that I set out following the appalling attacks in Manchester and London.

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