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Corbyn to stand down after Tories romp to landslide victory

The Labour leader admitted it had been a “very disappointing” night and signalled he step aside in the near future.

Jeremy Corbyn announcing his decision to quit (PA/Joe Giddens)
Jeremy Corbyn announcing his decision to quit (PA/Joe Giddens)

By Harriet Line, PA Deputy Political Editor

Jeremy Corbyn has said he will not lead the Labour Party into another general election as his party faced humiliation in the 2019 General Election.

With the Tories set to win a comfortable majority, Mr Corbyn admitted it had been a “very disappointing” night as support crumbled in Labour’s former heartlands.

The anti-war campaigner, who has represented Islington North since 1983, ran as an outside candidate for the party leadership in 2015 and managed to outlast two Tory prime ministers.

But facing his second General Election defeat, Mr Corbyn announced that he would call it a day as leader as he was re-elected in his London seat.

He said he would discuss with the party how to ensure there was a “process of reflection “.

“I will lead the party during this period to ensure this discussion takes place.”

It came as the Tories snatched seat after seat in Labour heartlands, bringing the so-called “red wall” crumbling down after the Prime Minister’s “get Brexit done” election message hit home with working class Leave voters.

Boris Johnson held onto his Uxbridge seat with a majority of more than 7,000, and said it “looked as though this One Nation Conservative government has been given a powerful new mandate to get Brexit done”.

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(PA Graphics)

Mr Corbyn’s party, which had 243 MPs when Parliament was dissolved last month, is forecast to lose 52 seats, according to a BBC/Sky/ITV exit poll, which put the Tories on 368 seats.

The poll predicted Labour would win just 191 seats, the Scottish National Party 55, Liberal Democrats 13, the Brexit Party none, Plaid Cymru three and Greens one – giving Mr Johnson a majority of 86.

Such a poor result would be the worst for Labour in terms of seats since 1935.

However, they clung onto several North East seats including Newcastle Central, Sunderland Central, Newcastle-upon-Tyne East and Houghton and Sunderland South, but with much reduced majorities – and won Putney from the Tories.

The first results chimed with the exit poll prediction, as support for Labour slumped in its Brexit-voting heartlands.

In the biggest scalps of the night so far, DUP Westminster leader Nigel Dodds – whose party propped up Theresa May’s administration – lost his Belfast North seat to Sinn Fein.

And former Tory minister Zac Goldsmith lost to the Lib Dems in Richmond Park.

For Labour, the first big upset came as the Tories won Blyth Valley with a 10% swing from Labour – a seat they had held since 1950.

Shadow environment secretary Sue Hayman lost Workington on another 10% swing to the Tories and former minister Caroline Flint lost Don Valley.

PA

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