Bruising results for Rishi Sunak as Tories suffer heavy losses

Rishi Sunak has suffered a bruising set of election results for the Tories, but the race for City Hall could be tighter than first thought.

Data launched in London on Friday night exhibits that turnout has elevated or held regular in some historically Tory areas of outer London, and gone down in Labour strongholds in internal London – sparking discuss of a tighter race within the London mayoral election than had been anticipated.

Asked on Sky News concerning the London election, on Friday shadow well being secretary Wes Streeting – MP for Ilford North – stated: “We’ve always feared this race will be close.”

Amid the flurry of hypothesis that greater turnout in outer London might pave the way in which for a shock victory for Conservative candidate Susan Hall , a Labour supply stated that the basics have been nonetheless good for Labour incumbent Mr Khan however that nobody might know the result of the vote at this stage, with counting because of begin on Saturday.

Both Labour and Tory MPs have predicted that the ultimate end result can be nearer than polls through the contest have instructed, which have given Mr Khan a wholesome lead.

It comes as Labour gained the Blackpool South parliamentary by-election and made positive factors in council contests to heap strain on Rishi Sunak.

In the competition triggered by the resignation of former Tory MP Scott Benton following a lobbying scandal, Labour’s Chris Webb secured 10,825 votes, a majority of seven,607.

Tory David Jones got here in second with 3,218 votes, simply 117 forward of Reform UK’s Mark Butcher.

Mr Webb stated: “People no longer trust the Conservatives. Prime Minister: do the decent thing, admit you’ve failed and call a general election.”

The 26.33% swing was the third greatest from the Conservatives to Labour at a by-election because the Second World War.

Labour chief Sir Keir Starmer stated: “This seismic win in Blackpool South is the most important result today.”

Labour also hailed a “truly historic” result in Rishi Sunak’s own backyard of York and North Yorkshire, where David Skaith defeated Tory Keane Duncan by almost 15,000 votes to be voted the area’s first mayor. The mayoralty covers the Prime Minister’s own constituency in North Yorkshire.

The Tories were also facing losses in council elections across England, after votes took place in 107 authorities. By 5pm, the Conservatives has lost more than 280 seats, and had had lost half of the seats it has been defending so far.

Labour won Hartlepool council, regaining ground in an area where the party suffered a Westminster by-election humiliation in 2021.

In Sunderland, Reform beat the Conservatives into third place in 16 of the 25 seats up for grabs while Labour made a net gain of six to increase its comfortable majority.

However the Tories clung on by a single seat in Harlow, a council targeted by Sir Keir on the eve of polling day. And Tory Ben Houchen also threw Mr Sunak a possible lifeline by winning the mayoral race in Tees Valley.

Responding to the early results, former chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng said there was no such thing as a safe Tory seat anymore.

He told LBC that “all of our seats are under threat, there’s no such thing really as a safe Tory seat anymore”.

Meanwhile, London is awaiting the results of Thursday’s mayoral election with Labour incumbent Sadiq Khan going through a problem from Tory candidate Susan Hall.

The result will not be announced until the weekend as volunteers spend Friday verifying the ballots, with counting set to start at 10am on Saturday.

Live coverage has now ended, but we will be back first thing on Saturday morning to bring you live updates throughout the day, including the much-anticipated results of the London mayoral election.

Welcome to our Election live blog

07:06 , Jacob Phillips

Good Morning and welcome to the Evening Standard’s politics live blog.

Results from local elections across the country are beginning to be announced with Labour landing a “seismic win” in Blackpool South.

Votes have taken place in 107 authorities.

More than two million Londoners are expected to have voted in the London mayoral election with Labour candidate Mr Khan, who’s looking for his third time period in workplace, the favorite to win in opposition to his Conservative challenger Ms Hall.Candidates in London now face a nervous wait forward of the end result, which is due to be announced on Saturday.

Around one third of results already in

07:11 , Jacob Phillips

Around one third of local elections results were in shortly after 7am on Friday.

Tory peer and polling expert Lord Hayward said he expected the Tories to lose upwards of 400 seats but he suggested that Mr Sunak’s position was not in immediate jeopardy.

“In current days I’ve been left with the very clear impression that, amongst Tory MPs, the ‘let’s have a management election’ balloon has been considerably deflated,” he said.

However, “an audible, very small group will disagree and possibly accomplish that early”.

Huge swings to Labour as Tories lose councils

07:19 , Jacob Phillips

So far the results are painting a picture of a Conservative collapse, with large swings to Labour in some areas.

Labour needed a swing in the share of the vote of just 5.7 percentage points to win Blackpool South – but in the event they managed a huge 26.3 points.

It is the third largest swing from the Conservatives to Labour at a by-election since the Second World War.

The second largest swing took place earlier this year, at the Wellingborough by-election in February, which saw Labour take the seat from the Tories on a swing of 28.5 points.

Labour has now clocked up six by-election swings greater than 20 percentage points in the last 12 months.

When will we get results in London?

07:25 , Jacob Phillips

London will face a long wait for the mayoral election result to be announced.

Londoners’ votes for the Mayor of London, London Assembly Constituency member and London Assembly London-wide member contests will likely be verified and counted over the 2 days after polling day on Thursday.

But it can more than likely be early afternoon on Saturday when it can turn out to be clear whether or not Sadiq Khan has won a third term in City Hall or if Tory candidate Susan Hall has pulled off a surprise victory.

Sadiq Khan is favourite to win the mayoral election ahead of Conservative challenger Susan Hall (ES Composite)Sadiq Khan is favourite to win the mayoral election ahead of Conservative challenger Susan Hall (ES Composite)

Sadiq Khan is favourite to win the mayoral election ahead of Conservative challenger Susan Hall (ES Composite)

Worst Tory performance in 40 years, elections expert

07:35 , Jacob Phillips

Elections expert Professor Sir John Curtice said the Tories could be on course to lose 500 councillors in “one of many worst, if not the worst” performances by the party in 40 years.

“So far they’re principally dropping a half of the seats they’re attempting to defend. If that continues they could find yourself dropping 500 or so seats, which is the factor they have been meant to keep away from,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today.

“Early days but, however the place we’ve got bought the detailed voting numbers, it appears as although the Conservative vote is a wee bit down on the place it was final 12 months.

“We are probably looking at certainly one of the worst, if not the worst, Conservative performances in local government elections for the last 40 years.”

Key results thus far

07:43 , Jacob Phillips

Here are a number of the key results thus far:

– Hartlepool

Three years in the past Labour misplaced the Hartlepool parliamentary by-election to the Conservatives – an occasion that reportedly led Sir Keir Starmer to think about resigning as social gathering chief.

This 12 months Hartlepool gave Labour trigger for celebration, with the social gathering successful management of the council for the primary time since 2019 due to a web achieve of seven seats, whereas the Tories misplaced six.

– Harlow

Starmer and his deputy Angela Rayner toured the Essex city of Harlow 24 hours earlier than the polls opened, in a symbolic go to to part of the nation that will likely be a key battleground on the common election.

But whereas Labour did make progress in Harlow in Thursday’s council elections, it fell in need of an total majority by the narrowest of margins, ending up with 16 seats, only one behind the Tories on 17.

– Rushmoor

There was higher information for Labour deep within the so-called “blue wall” of the normal Conservative heartland of Hampshire.

The social gathering gained seven seats and a majority on Rushmoor council, an space that features the military city of Aldershot, whereas the Tories misplaced eight seats and total management.

– Redditch

Labour will likely be happy with its efficiency within the Worcestershire council of Redditch – one other necessary battleground on the common election – the place the social gathering picked up 9 seats and total management, whereas the Conservatives noticed their tally drop by 11.

– South Tyneside

It was a much less cheery image for Labour in South Tyneside, the place the social gathering suffered a web lack of 10 seats.

Independent candidates gained 9 seats and the Greens gained two, whereas the Tories misplaced their solely councillor.

Labour nonetheless has a majority right here, however solely simply: the brand new council could have 28 Labour councillors, 15 Independents and 11 Greens.

– Sunderland

The Reform Party had a full or near-full slate of candidates in solely a handful of councils holding elections this 12 months and Sunderland was one of some locations the place it fought each seat.

While the social gathering didn’t win any of them, it did beat the Conservatives into third place in 16 of the 25 seats up for grabs whereas Labour made a web achieve of six to extend its comfy majority.

– Thurrock

This Essex council was one other one in all Labour’s high targets in a key Conservative-Labour election battleground.

The social gathering wanted to achieve six seats to take management of Thurrock, which has been run by the Tories for the previous few years throughout a interval of turbulence that noticed the council declared successfully bankrupt in December 2022.

Labour ended up making a web achieve of eight seats, sufficient for a transparent majority, with Independents selecting up two and the Tories struggling a web lack of 10.

– Police & crime commissioners

Three of the 37 police & crime commissioner results for England and Wales have been declared thus far, with Labour gaining Avon & Somerset and Cumbria from the Conservatives, whereas the Tories have held Lincolnshire.

Labour loss in Oldham probably all the way down to Gaza stance

07:57 , Jacob Phillips

Labour has misplaced management in Oldham, with positive factors made by independents probably as a results of Sir Keir’s stance on the conflict in Gaza.

Pat McFadden admitted the disaster in Gaza has been an “issue” and “does get raised” when requested concerning the Labour loss in Oldham.

The social gathering’s nationwide marketing campaign coordinator informed BBC Breakfast: “I do think that’s been a factor in some places, I don’t think there’s any point in denying that. It does get raised, and I understand why people have strong feelings about that.”

He stated that with “so many innocent people being killed I’m not surprised people have strong feelings about that”.

But Mr McFadden added: “In addition to the Middle East issue which you mentioned there are specific very local factors in Oldham which have knocked it out of line with the Labour gains we’ve been seeing in local elections.”

Local election results thus far ‘disappointing’ – Tory chairman

08:10 , Jacob Phillips

Tory Party chairman Richard Holden described the native election results thus far as “disappointing”.

The Conservatives have misplaced 122 seats thus far, with extra losses anticipated.

Mr Holden informed BBC Breakfast: “Overall a disappointing night for us but that’s what you’d expect from parties in midterm of government.”

Asked whether or not voters don’t like what the Conservatives are providing, he stated: “I think what they want to see is us delivering on things like the Rwanda scheme… what I think people want to see is more Conservative delivery on things like illegal migration, they want to see that deterrent.”

Asked whether or not the potential challenges posed to Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives posed by the results can be addressed, Mr Holden stated: “When people are voting in individual by-elections they know they’re not voting for the government of the country.”

He added: “I don’t think the read across is quite as you’re portraying it there.”

Anxious wait for candidates in London

08:21 , Jacob Phillips

Sadiq Khan and his most important challenger Conservative Susan Hall are anxiously ready to seek out out who would be the subsequent London Mayor on Friday.

Mr Khan has had a wholesome lead within the polls, however the race between the 2 frontrunners was electrified on Wednesday by a poll in the Standard which confirmed Mr Khan’s lead over Ms Hall had closed to the smallest since their campaigns began.

But there’s nonetheless some technique to go earlier than we get the results in London, with results more than likely to be introduced within the early afternoon on Saturday.

Find out how one can watch the results live here.

 (Christian Adams) (Christian Adams)

(Christian Adams)

Why do we’ve got to attend till Saturday for London results?

08:43 , Jacob Phillips

Londoners are anticipated to have to attend over 24 hours to seek out out if Sadiq Khan has gained a historic third time period as London Mayor.

Many will likely be asking why it takes so lengthy to get a end result.

After voting ended on Thursday, poll packing containers needed to be secured from the greater than 3,600 polling stations throughout the capital, staffed by some 12,000 folks.

They have been then securely transported to 14 counting centres within the metropolis, which was anticipated to take till midnight.

The packing containers have been set to be secured in a single day on the centres earlier than verification begins at 9am on Friday.

You can discover out extra about what occurs subsequent here.

 (Jeremy Selwyn) (Jeremy Selwyn)

(Jeremy Selwyn)

Blackpool has despatched message to Sunak, Starmer says

09:19 , Jacob Phillips

Labour has known as for a common election following their key by-election victory in Blackpool South.

In a speech celebrating the end result deputy Labour chief Angela Rayner urged the prime minister to “name a common election and let the nation transfer ahead”.

Labour chief Sir Keir Starmer added: “A message has been sent directly to the prime minister… we’re fed up with your decline, your chaos, and division, and we want change.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer meets new labour MP Chris Webb in Blackpool (Getty Images)Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer meets new labour MP Chris Webb in Blackpool (Getty Images)

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer meets new labour MP Chris Webb in Blackpool (Getty Images)

Results so far

09:33 , Jacob Phillips

Labour has won 319 council seats across the country so far, winning 18 councils.

The Tories have won 117 seats while the Liberal Democrats have won 114.

The Conservatives have lost 122 seats so far, with more losses expected.

‘There is no such thing as a safe Tory seat anymore’ – Kwasi Kwarteng

09:52 , Jacob Phillips

Former Tory Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has warned all Conservative seats are under threat.

He told LBC: “All of our seats are under threat. There’s no such thing really as a safe Tory seat anymore”

When quizzed on whether there should be a new leader of the Conservative Party if Andy Street loses the Birmingham Mayor race he added: “No, given all I went through when I was in office and Chancellor, I think we need stability and consolidation”

Kwasi Kwarteng has said there is no such thing as a safe Tory seat (PA Archive)Kwasi Kwarteng has said there is no such thing as a safe Tory seat (PA Archive)

Kwasi Kwarteng has stated there is no such thing as a such factor as a protected Tory seat (PA Archive)

Memorable moments within the race for City Hall

09:53 , Jacob Phillips

From Laurence Fox being barred to “Susan the sandwich snatcher” the race for City Hall has been as jam packed as Crouch End’s Sadiq Khan-themed doughnuts.

You can examine a number of the memorable moments concerning the race for City Hall here.

Taste test: the Sadiq Khan jam doughnuts in Dunn’s bakery (Supplied)Taste test: the Sadiq Khan jam doughnuts in Dunn’s bakery (Supplied)

Taste take a look at: the Sadiq Khan jam doughnuts in Dunn’s bakery (Supplied)

What key results are nonetheless to return on Friday?

10:24 , Jacob Phillips

Around one third of results have been introduced in native elections throughout the nation, with extra results anticipated to flood in on Friday.

Key results are anticipated in Hastings, the place Londoners shifting out of the capital might strengthen Labour’s place, as effectively as Dudley and Wokingham on Friday afternoon.

Later on Friday night results are due in Bristol and Dorset.

Important mayoral results in Tees Valley, York and North Yorkshire, and the North East are additionally anticipated on Friday.

Graphs present extent of ‘seismic’ Labour win in Blackpool South

10:36 , Jacob Phillips

Graphs present the extent of Labour’s ”seismic” win within the Blackpool South By-election.

In the competition triggered by the resignation of former Tory MP Scott Benton following a lobbying scandal, Labour’s Chris Webb secured 10,825 votes, a majority of seven,607.

The 26.33% swing was the third greatest from the Conservatives to Labour at a by-election because the Second World War.

Sir Keir Starmer stated the end in Blackpool South had despatched a message “directly to the Prime Minister” demanding a change.

In a speech alongside newly elected MP Chris Webb, the Labour chief stated: “This was directly to Rishi Sunak to say we are fed up with your decline, your chaos and your division and we want change. We want to go forward with Labour.”

He added: “That wasn’t just a little message, that wasn’t just a murmur, that was a shout from Blackpool.”

Recap – When will we get results in London?

11:22 , Jacob Phillips

Sadiq Khan and his main challenger Conservative Susan Hall are anxiously waiting to find out who will be the next London Mayor.

But there is still some way to go before we get the results in London, with results most likely to be announced in the early afternoon on Saturday.

Find out how you can watch the results live here.

 (ES Composite) (ES Composite)

(ES Composite)

Labour gained from Conservatives in Stevenage – sources

11:34 , Jacob Phillips

Labour sources in Stevenage have told the Standard they are confident that they have made gains from the Conservatives.

The area will be a key parliamentary battleground at the next general election where the Tories currently have a 8,562 majority.Last year Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland, who first won his seat in 2010, said he would not stand for re-election.

Labour concede Tees Valley mayoral result

12:09 , Jacob Phillips

A Labour source has conceded the mayoral vote in Tees Valley to Conservative incumbent Ben Houchen.

The source said Lord Houchen had won with a significantly reduced majority compared with 2021, and that he had distanced himself from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, running his campaign as a “pseudo-independent.”

Lord Houchen declined to declare victory, telling Sky News: “I’d by no means take something for granted and we’re going to see over the following hour how the results end up.”

 (Getty Images) (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Conservative Ben Houchen on track to victory in Tees Valley mayoral election

12:10 , Jacob Phillips

Ben Houchen is on course to keep his job as Tees Valley Mayor.

Lord Houchen polled more votes than Labour in three of the five local authorities to be announced in the mayoral election, winning voters over in Middlesbrough, Redcar and Hartlepool.

A Labour source said winning the Tees Valley mayoralty had always seemed out of reach.

The source said Lord Houchen, had been effectively running as an independent rather than a Conservative, and a swing of 12.5% would be enough for Labour to win every parliamentary seat in the region.

Lord Houchen denied that he had shied away from campaigning as a Conservative or mentioning Rishi Sunak in his campaign literature during the Tees Valley mayoral contest.

He told Sky News: “We completely do not draw back from that in any respect, and Rishi’s been up through the marketing campaign and we’ve got all the time stated Rishi’s been an ideal good friend to the folks of Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.”

He added that the Prime Minister had been “an enormous champion for this space”.

Prime Minister ‘focused completely on the job at hand’

12:15 , Jacob Phillips

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he is “centered fully on the job at hand” amid a bruising set of local election results for the Tory Party which could heap further pressure on his leadership.

Asked whether he needs to convince his party he can do better in a general election, he told reporters at a military base in North Yorkshire: “If Keir Starmer was in Harlow on Wednesday saying that that was a spot he wanted to win as a way to win the following common election, that has occurred.

“We still haven’t got results from places like Tees Valley with the mayoralty results which again is a key battleground.

“Look, I’m centered fully on the job at hand, that is delivering for folks throughout the nation.”

Labour retain Swindon gaining 9 seats

12:26 , Jacob Phillips

Labour has retained Swindon within the first council results of the afternoon, gaining 9 seats as the Conservatives misplaced eight and an unbiased one.

The new council is Labour 41, Conservative 15, Liberal Democrat one.

Labour retain Blackburn with Darwen

12:29 , Jacob Phillips

Labour has retained management of Blackburn with Darwen, however misplaced 4 seats, whereas the Conservatives misplaced two and independents have been up 4.

The new council is Labour 29, independents 13 and Conservatives 9.

What is the image thus far in native elections?

12:33 , Jacob Phillips

The Conservatives proceed to lose council seats throughout the nation.

The Tories have misplaced 149 seats thus far whereas Labour proceed to make positive factors.

Labour now has 361 seats in comparison with the Tories’ 129. The Liberal Democrats have additionally made smaller positive factors and have 132 seats.

Ben Houchen wins Tees Valley mayoral election

12:34 , Jacob Phillips

Conservative Ben Houchen has been re-elected as Tees Valley Mayor, however with a lowered majority over Labour.

He has gained in at the least 4 of 5 native authorities introduced thus far.

In Darlington, he polled 14,233 forward of 10,014 for Labour’s Chris McEwan and 1,849 for Simon Thorley of the Liberal Democrats.

In Redcar, Lord Houchen polled 15,987 votes in opposition to 12,015 for Mr McEwan and 1,639 for Mr Thorley.

The sitting mayor polled 10,074 in Hartlepool in contrast with 8,732 for Mr McEwan and 972 for Mr Thorley.

In Middlesbrough, the Tory polled 13,285 over Mr McEwan, who had 12,749 and 1,390 for Mr Thorley.

Conservatives ought to be ‘extraordinarily nervous’ regardless of Tees Valley win

12:48 , Jacob Phillips

Labour have stated that the Conservatives ought to be “extremely worried” after clinging on to a win within the Tees Valley mayoral election.

A Labour spokesman stated: “This swing towards Labour in Tees Valley puts Labour on track to win every single seat in the area in a general election.

“The Conservatives should be extremely worried that their candidate had to run as an independent to win.

“If Rishi Sunak doesn’t take this result as a major wake up call he is in denial.”

If the swing of 16.7 per cent to Labour was repeated in a General Election, the social gathering say it could win each single seat within the Tees Valley.

This would imply Labour would achieve Darlington, Hartlepool, Redcar, Middlesbrough, South and East Cleveland, and Stockton West.

David Cameron now has a Liberal Democrat councillor

12:55 , Jacob Phillips

David Cameron, and Jeremy Clarkson’s Diddly Squat farm, now have a Liberal Democrat councillor after the social gathering took Chadlington and Churchill ward in West Oxfordshire.

Nigel Simon Ridpath has gained the seat with 342 votes, successful 56% of the vote.

The ward’s earlier Tory councillor had stood down after complaining of threats from followers of the Amazon present, which options Clarkson’s many whinges in opposition to the council.

A Liberal Democrat spokesperson stated: “This is just one of many Blue Wall gains we are expecting throughout the day.”

Ben Houchen labels mayor race a ‘really hard campaign’

12:58 , Jacob Phillips

Ben Houchen said after being re-elected as Tees Valley mayor: “Let’s keep pushing for a better Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool, let’s deliver more jobs, more investment. And again I just want to thank everybody. It’s a really humbling experience.”

Lord Houchen thanked his Labour and Lib Dem opponents who he said had “both run very strong campaigns”.

He also offered a “very personal thanks to my wife Rachel and my new baby Hannah.”

He said: “This has been a very difficult few months, it has been a really hard campaign, there has been a lot of spotlight on this election which brings a level of intensity – but having Rachel as an absolute rock by my side, I absolutely could not do without her.”

He added: “Enjoy the rest of your day and I’m looking forward to some sleep. All the best.”

Conservative Ben Houchen has been re-elected as Tees Valley Mayor. (Owen Humphreys/PA) (PA Wire)Conservative Ben Houchen has been re-elected as Tees Valley Mayor. (Owen Humphreys/PA) (PA Wire)

Conservative Ben Houchen has been re-elected as Tees Valley Mayor. (Owen Humphreys/PA) (PA Wire)

Lord Houchen would ‘absolutely’ be able to work with Starmer

13:07 , Jacob Phillips

Re-elected Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen said he would “absolutely” be able to work with Sir Keir Starmer if the Labour leader becomes prime minister.

Lord Houchen said the leader had “come out and said he’s going to double down on devolution” which would give him more autonomy to deliver for local people.

The mayor said “Rishi’s been a huge supporter of Teesside over the last few years” and insisted the campaign had been a “shared effort” despite commentators suggesting he had tried to distance himself from the party brand.

“We wouldn’t have been able to deliver all these things if it weren’t for him so absolutely it’s a shared effort, but again I’ll work with anybody who will help me deliver for local people and Rishi is doing just that,” he told Sky News.

Asked whether he could work with Sir Keir as PM, he said: “Absolutely. Keir Starmer’s come out and said he’s going to double down on devolution, which is a huge change, a 180 from what Labour did in 2019 when they were talking about abolishing mayors, now Keir Starmer’s saying he’s going to give us more money and more powers.

“Which gives me more autonomy to get on and do what I do best which is deliver for local people.”

Tories lose all seats at Essex council

13:25 , Will Mata

The Conservatives lost all eight of their seats on Castle Point in Essex as independents won all 39.

Thirteen Conservative candidates failed to appear on ballot papers because of problems with nominations.

Meanwhile, Welwyn Hatfield in Hertfordshire remains under no overall control, but the Conservatives lost 10 seats, as Labour gained eight and the Liberal Democrats two.

Labour declares victory in East Midlands

13:28 , Will Mata

Labour has declared victory in the East Midlands mayoral election.

A party source said Claire Ward had “comfortably” defeated Conservative Ben Bradley, who is also MP for Mansfield and leader of Nottinghamshire County Council.

The source described the region as “the beating heart of the general election battleground”.

Labour distance themselves from Hamas quote

13:30 , Will Mata

Labour has distanced itself from a quote reportedly made by a senior party source to the BBC.

The party believe it is set to lose the West Midlands mayoral race with Labour’s vote being split with pro-Gaza independent candidate Akhmed Yakoob.

This is said to be allowing Conservative candidate Andy Street to win.

The BBC quoted the source as saying: “A senior party source said: “It’s the Middle East, not West Midlands, that will have won [Conservative candidate] Andy Street the mayoralty. Once again Hamas are the real villains.”

But Labour has now distanced itself from the quote.

A Labour Party spokesperson told the BBC: “The Labour Party has strongly condemned this racist quote which has not come from anyone who is speaking on behalf of the party or whose values are welcome in the party.”

Crime commissioner results come in

13:34 , Will Mata

Labour has held the police and crime commissioner job in Gwent.

The Tories have held the posts for Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

David Cameron: ‘Bouncing back is possible’

14:12 , Will Mata

David Cameron has said it is possible to bounce back from poor local election results to win the general election.

“With local elections, when you’re in government, you often find they’re tought results,” the overseas secretary informed the BBC.

“But what matters is, have a plan, stick to the plan, deliver the plan.

“And, as I showed in 2015, you can have bad local election results and go on and win a general election.

“Ultimately, a general election is a choice and we’re putting the clearest possible choice in front of the British people – a man with a plan that’s growing the economy and protecting our country versus a bunch of people who have no plan whatsoever.”

As the Guardian pointed out, the local and general elections were held on the same day in 2015 so it is unclear which vote he was referring to.

What will be the first clues to a Sadiq Khan or Susan Hall victory?

14:19 , Jacob Phillips

Londoners face a wait until Saturday afternoon or evening – or possibly even Sunday – until they uncover the identify of their subsequent mayor.

This is as a result of votes won’t begin to be counted till 9am on Saturday, although polling stations closed at 10pm on Thursday.

But a number of key “bellwether” constituencies might give an early indication of whether or not Sadiq Khan is on track for an historic third time period or whether or not Susan Hall might ship a shock victory and seize City Hall for the Tories for the primary time in additional than a decade.Read extra about what the primary indicators will likely be here.

 (ES Composite) (ES Composite)

(ES Composite)

What are the latest results?

14:27 , Jacob Phillips

The Conservatives have nearly lost 200 council seats as more results come in across the country.

Meanwhile Labour have 490 seats and the Liberal Democrats have 178.

The Conservatives currently have 158 seats and there are 130 Independents

First Women’s Equality Party borough councillor elected

14:32 , Jacob Phillips

Stacy Hart won a seat on Basingstoke and Deane Council to give the Women’s Equality Party (WEP) their first borough councillor.

She polled 1,659 votes in Hatch Warren & Beggarwood ward, 61.6% of the vote, gaining the seat from Conservatives.

The WEP had previously won seats on town and parish councils but this is their most important victory in the nine years since the party was founded by broadcaster Sandi Toksvig and journalist Catherine Mayer.

Labour win North East and York and North Yorkshire mayoral elections

14:48 , Jacob Phillips

Labour’s Kim McGuinness has won the North East mayoral election, defeating former Labour-turned-independent candidate Jamie Driscoll.

In the first contest for the new mayoralty, Ms McGuinness secured 185,051 votes, defeating Mr Driscoll by a margin of just under 60,000 votes.

The election saw controversy for Labour after it excluded Mr Driscoll as a candidate despite his position as the Mayor of North of Tyne. The decision provoked a backlash from his supporters, who regarded him as the victim of an attempt to purge left-wingers from the party.

In Thursday’s election, he secured 126,652 votes, with Conservative candidate Guy Renner-Thompson coming third on 52,446 and Reform UK’s Paul Donaghy fourth on 41,147.

In her acceptance speech, Ms McGuinness thanked activists, her staff as Northumbria’s police and crime commissioner, and her family.

Mr Driscoll said the result showed there was “an enormous urge for food for pragmatic transformative insurance policies that cut back inequality and deal with folks with respect”.

Labour’s David Skaith also won the York and North Yorkshire mayoral election, securing victory in the Prime Minister’s own backyard.

Thursday was the first time voters in York and North Yorkshire voted for a regional mayor, with Mr Skaith securing about a third of the vote.

The result will be a blow to Rishi Sunak, bringing a defeat in an area previously considered a Conservative stronghold and containing his own constituency of Richmond.

‘Starmer’s Labour Party is now winning in Sunak’s backyard’

14:50 , Jacob Phillips

A Labour Party spokesman said the mayoral victory in York and North Yorkshire was “really historic”, adding: “Keir Starmer’s Labour Party is now successful in Rishi Sunak’s yard.

“The Prime Minister’s own constituents have taken a look at the two parties and chosen Labour.”

David Skaith gained 66,761 votes, with Conservative Keane Duncan coming second on 51,967 and Liberal Democrat Felicity Cunliffe-Lister coming third on 30,867.

Labour win in Islington by-election

14:55 , Jacob Phillips

In London Ollie Steadman has been elected as a Labour councillor in Islington within the Hillrise ward by-election.

Mr Steadman obtained 2824 votes forward of the Green Party’s Alex Nettle who gained 1095 votes.

Labour effectively forward as over half of council results introduced

15:13 , Jacob Phillips

Results have are available in at 53 councils throughout England as round half of results now being introduced.

Labour has management over 27 councils thus far, having gained 4 areas.

Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats have management over six councils and the Conservatives have management over three.

No social gathering has total management over 16 councils whereas Castle Point in Essex stays unbiased.

An extra 54 results are to be introduced.

Labour achieve Hyndburn in Lancashire

15:16 , Will Mata

Labour have gained Hyndburn in Lancashire and social gathering sources consider they may take management of Milton Keynes for the primary time since 2000.

The Buckinghamshire council comprises key parliamentary battlegrounds.

Labour holds Rochdale in Greater Manchester

15:17 , Jacob Phillips

Labour has held Rochdale Borough Council in Greater Manchester.

The end result implies that almost half of the council results in England have been introduced with simply over 50 to go.

The Workers Party of Britain (WPB) gained its first two council seats in Rochdale, the place George Galloway gained a by-election in March.

Labour retained management of the council with 44 seats, after dropping two to the WPB, with the Conservatives on 9, Lib Dems on three and two independents.

Labour achieve in West Sussex for first time

15:20 , Jacob Phillips

Labour gained Adur in West Sussex from the Conservatives after gaining eight seats – the primary time the social gathering has managed the council.

The Conservatives misplaced seven seats, and independents one, leaving the brand new council as Labour 17, Conservatives eight, Green two and independents two.

Labour ‘threw completely every thing’ at Teesside election however ‘could not dislodge improbable Conservatives’ – Sunak

15:26 , Jacob Phillips

Rishi Sunak stated Ben Houchen’s re-election victory in Teesside was proof of “the Conservatives delivering” as he praised the Tory mayor’s document on attracting jobs and funding to the world.

The Labour Party “threw absolutely everything” on the election in Teesside however they “couldn’t dislodge Ben and the fantastic Conservative team,” Mr Sunak stated.

Lord Houchen has delivered extra in seven years than Labour might in 30 years, the prime minister stated as he and Lord Houchen met supporters in Teesside.

He praised the airport and steelworks regeneration initiatives within the space.

“That is levelling up in action. That is what you get with Ben taking bold decisions for this region, that’s the Conservatives delivering,” Mr Sunak stated.

He added: “I’ve got a message for the Labour Party too because they know that they have to win here in order to win a general election – they know that. They assumed that Tees Valley would stroll back to them – but it didn’t.”

Labour win Milton Keynes for first time since 2000

15:44 , Jacob Phillips

Labour gained total management of Milton Keynes for the primary time since 2000 after gaining three seats.

The social gathering now has 30 seats on the Buckinghamshire council, with Lib Dems on 18, after gaining two, and Conservatives on 9, after dropping 5.

Labour was beforehand operating the council in alliance with the Lib Dems, in a metropolis with two marginal parliamentary constituencies.

Tories have misplaced 250 council seats thus far

16:02 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Manchester’s Labour deputy chief loses council seat to Workers Party candidate

16:06 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

In Manchester, Labour deputy chief of the council Luthfur Rahman has misplaced his seat to Shahbaz Sarwar of George Galloway’s Workers Party.

The social gathering claimed the seat within the Longsight ward with 2,444 votes to Labour’s 2,259 votes.

‘The neighborhood desires a change and right here we’re’ says victorious Workers Party candidate

16:29 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Workers Party candidate Shahbaz Sarwar, who took the Longsight council seat in Manchester from deputy chief and Labour councillor Luthfur Rahman, stated: “The community’s come out, the community’s voted and the community wants a change and here we are.

“We think we can do better and we will do better and we believe the Labour Party hasn’t done much for Manchester and it’s not made any impact in the community and that’s what we’re here to bring.”

He stated he was “not aware” of feedback made by social gathering chief George Galloway earlier this week which have been criticised as homophobic.

Labour scored mayoral election victory ‘in Sunak’s yard’, says social gathering

16:43 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Labour’s David Skaith at the moment gained the York and North Yorkshire mayoral election – which Labour has described as a victory within the Prime Minister’s personal “backyard”.

Yesterday was the primary time voters in York and North Yorkshire have voted for a regional mayor, with Mr Skaith securing a couple of third of the vote.

The end result comes as a blow to Rishi Sunak, bringing a defeat in an space beforehand thought of a Conservative stronghold and containing his personal constituency of Richmond.

David Skaith (left) has won the York and North Yorkshire mayoralty (PA Wire)David Skaith (left) has won the York and North Yorkshire mayoralty (PA Wire)

David Skaith (left) has gained the York and North Yorkshire mayoralty (PA Wire)

A Labour Party spokesman stated the end result was “truly historic”, including: “Keir Starmer’s Labour Party is now winning in Rishi Sunak’s backyard.

“The Prime Minister’s own constituents have taken a look at the two parties and chosen Labour.”

Tories’ Harlow victory relies on councillor suspended for alleged Islamophobia

16:44 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Rishi Sunak has hailed a slim win for the Conservatives in Harlow Council – however their one-seat majority relies on a councillor who has been suspended by the social gathering for alleged Islamophobia.

James Leppard, the Tory councillor for Church Langley South and Potter Street ward within the Essex authority, was suspended final month after the group Hope Not Hate revealed anti-Muslim posts by him.

In one publish on Facebook from 2020, he allegedly stated of Muslims: “We really don’t need them here. They add nothing.”

James Leppard was elected as a Conservative Party councillor in the recent election (Harrow Council)James Leppard was elected as a Conservative Party councillor in the recent election (Harrow Council)

James Leppard was elected as a Conservative Party councillor within the current election (Harrow Council)

A Conservative Party spokesman informed the Standard: “We are looking into these claims.”

Read more here.

First London local election results ‘suggests Ulez still a problem for Sadiq Khan’

16:48 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

The first local election results from London suggest the Ulez expansion could still be problem for Sadiq Khan in his battle with Susan Hall, it was claimed on Friday.

The Conservatives held the Hillingdon East ward in a council by-election on Thursday, while the Labour vote dropped by 8.7 per cent.

In Wandsworth, the Conservatives gained a council seat from Labour, sweeping to victory in the West Putney by-election.

 (PA) (PA)


One Tory source told the Standard the result showed anger at Mr Khan’s expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone last year was still “extremely prevalent” in London’s outer boroughs.

“The polls show that Sadiq should walk this election but anger at Ulez is still extremely prevalent and this vote shows that,” they added. “It could cause real upset for Labour.”

Read the full story by the Standard’s Chief Political Correspondent Rachael Burford here.

Labour takes Northamptonshire PFCC

16:52 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Labour has gained Northamptonshire PFCC from the Conservatives.

The area covers key general election battleground seats such as Northampton North, Northampton South, Kettering, and Corby.

Labour’s Claire Ward becomes first East Midlands Mayor

17:03 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Labour’s Claire Ward has become the first East Midlands Mayor, defeating Conservative Ben Bradley by more than 50,000 votes.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer with Claire Ward (Joe Giddens/PA Wire)Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer with Claire Ward (Joe Giddens/PA Wire)

Labour chief Sir Keir Starmer with Claire Ward (Joe Giddens/PA Wire)

The former Watford MP had 181,040 votes (40.27%), with Mr Bradley, who’s MP for Mansfield and chief of Nottinghamshire County Council, on 129,332.

Frank Adlington-Stringer was third for the Greens, with Reform UK and an unbiased forward of the Liberal Democrats.

Labour’s York and North Yorkshire mayoral victory ‘a really, very particular second’ says Starmer

17:08 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Sir Keir Starmer has described Labour’s victory within the York and North Yorkshire mayoral election as “a very, very special moment”.

Appearing at Northallerton Town Football Club with the brand new mayor, David Skaith, the Labour chief stated: “It’s an amazing moment in history, to have a Labour victory here.

Sir Keir Starmer (centre) and shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves celebrate with David Skaith at Northallerton Town Football Club (Owen Humphreys/PA Wire)Sir Keir Starmer (centre) and shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves celebrate with David Skaith at Northallerton Town Football Club (Owen Humphreys/PA Wire)

Sir Keir Starmer (centre) and shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves celebrate with David Skaith at Northallerton Town Football Club (Owen Humphreys/PA Wire)

“We have had really good results across the country all day long, but this is a very, very special moment, David, to become the mayor here.”

He added: “Through the villages and the towns of North Yorkshire, people are voting for change. They voted for Labour, a changed Labour Party able to earn the trust and the respect of voters in York and North Yorkshire.”

Labour wins Norfolk PCC from Conservatives

17:15 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Labour has gained the Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner function from the Conservatives.

Labour takes again Lancashire PCC from Conservatives

17:18 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Labour candidate Clive Grunshaw has gained the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) from the Conservatives.

He beforehand held the function till 2021. He at the moment gained it again from incumbent Tory PCC Andrew Snowden.

Lib Dem chief poses by dinosaurs as he vows to ‘make Conservatives historical past’

17:22 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

In the Liberal Democrats’ newest election marketing campaign stunt, social gathering chief Sir Ed Davey posed alongside folks in inflatable dinosaur costumes throughout an look in Winchester.

The dinosaurs wore blue rosettes normally sported by Conservative candidates, and held up a banner studying “Make this Conservative Government history”.

 (Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire) (Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

(Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

“These results show what we all know: we need a general election now,” stated Davey.

“No matter how long Rishi Sunak stays squatting in Downing Street, the Liberal Democrat general election campaign starts today to make this Conservative Government history.

 (Lib Dems) (Lib Dems)

(Lib Dems)

“From Cheltenham to Hull and here in Hampshire – people are choosing the Liberal Democrats to make that change happen.”

Today is ‘an excellent day for Labour’ says Starmer, as he tells voters ‘we cannot allow you to down’

17:32 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Labour chief Sir Keir Starmer has described at the moment as “a very good day for Labour”, as he appeared at a victory rally at Northallerton Town Football Club in North Yorkshire.

He’s there to rejoice David Skaith’s win on the York and North Yorkshire mayoral election, which he stated was a “historic victory” for Labour in “the heart of Tory territory”.

Sir Keir Starmer celebrates with David Skaith at Northallerton Town Football Club, North Yorkshire (Owen Humphreys/PA Wire)Sir Keir Starmer celebrates with David Skaith at Northallerton Town Football Club, North Yorkshire (Owen Humphreys/PA Wire)

Sir Keir Starmer celebrates with David Skaith at Northallerton Town Football Club, North Yorkshire (Owen Humphreys/PA Wire)

Starmer said the win was “vindication” for the Labour Party and showed that “people are fed up with a failed government”.

“We’ve had a positive campaign here and I am very, very proud to stand here as leader of the Labour Party to celebrate this historic victory and it is a historic victory – these are places where we would not have usually had a Labour Party success but we’ve been able to create that success and persuade people to vote for us,” he said.

To voters, he said: “Thank you for putting your trust in Labour, we will not let you down.”

Labour gains Cannock Chase Council in Staffordshire

17:34 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Labour has gained Cannock Chase Council in Staffordshire, which previously had a ‘no overall control’ administration.

The constituency requires a 21.5% swing for Labour to win it at the next election.

A Labour source said: “Winning seats like that is effectively past the place we should be for a majority.”

Labour holds Crawley Council

17:38 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

In another victory for Labour, the party has held Crawley Council in West Sussex.

Labour celebrates big wins in London’s commuter belt

17:49 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

A large question mark still hangs over the fate of the London mayoralty, and whether Sadiq Khan will retain his seat or be ousted by Tory candidate Susan Hall.

But meanwhile, Labour has celebrated some big wins across the capital’s commuter belt in South East England, including the home of the British Army in Hampshire.

The Conservatives admitted to suffering a bruising night but drew comfort from an apparent victory in Harlow Council in Essex, a key general election target for Labour just north of the M25.

But their 17-16 count in Harlow depended on a Tory councillor who has been suspended for alleged Islamophobia.

Elsewhere in Essex, Labour seized Basildon Council from the Tories, who lost 12 councillors there.

Read more from our Deputy Political Editor Jitendra Joshi here.

Oxford remains in no overall control

18:06 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

There is no change at Oxford Council, which remains in no overall control.

Conservatives lose all their five seats in Cheltenham

18:15 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

The Conservatives have lost all their five seats in Cheltenham, with the Liberal Democrats strengthening their grip on the council.

The council in the heart of the leafy Cotswolds now has 36 Lib Dem councillors, three Greens and one independent.

The town has a Conservative MP, Cabinet Minister Alex Chalk, the Justice Secretary, who had a majority of just 981 at the last general election.

Tories have so far lost more than 350 council seats

18:31 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Labour gains Tamworth Council, months after overturning Tory majority in parliamentary by-election

18:43 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Labour has gained Tamworth in Staffordshire from no overall control.

This adds the council to the parliamentary by-election it won in October.

Labour has gained nine seats on Tamworth Council with the Conservatives losing six, and Independents losing three.

The new council is Labour 18, Conservative eight and Independents four.

Labour took the parliamentary seat in October with a huge 23.9 swing from the Conservatives. It marked the biggest Conservative majority overturned by Labour at a by-election since 1945.

Lib Dems hold Woking

18:57 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

The Lib Dems have held Woking Borough Council, in Surrey.

Lib Dems gain Tunbridge Wells

19:22 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

The Liberal Democrats have gained control of Tunbridge Wells Council, which previous had no overall control.

A Lib Dem source said: “The disgusted of Tunbridge Wells have spoken.”

Turnout for London mayoral election down on 2021

19:30 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Voter turnout for the 2024 Mayor of London and London Assembly elections was 40.5%, according to London Elects.

This was down 1.5% on the turnout in 2021.

The Greater London Returning Officer will announce the result of the mayoral election at City Hall tomorrow (Saturday) once all the mayoral votes have been counted at the 14 constituencies.

Later on Saturday, the returning officer will announce the allocation of the 11 London-wide Assembly Member seats, following constituency results at individual count venues.

Read more about how the results will be announced here.

Lib Dems narrowly miss out on gaining Wokingham

19:31 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

The Liberal Democrats have narrowly failed to take overall control of Wokingham in Berkshire after gaining just one seat.

It leaves the party one short of an overall majority, with 27 seats, with the Conservatives on 19 after losing three and Labour on eight after gaining three.

The town’s parliamentary seat is held by Conservative former Cabinet minister Sir John Redwood, who had a majority of 7,383 at the last general election.

Epping Forest Council pauses count due to ‘volume of votes’ cast

19:36 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Epping Forest Council in Essex has stopped counting this evening because of the “volume of votes” cast, and will resume the count tomorrow morning.

Results are awaited for Waltham Abbey, Theydon Bois and Passingford, Rural East, Roydon & Lower Nazeing and Ongar wards, where turnouts ranged from 36% to 23%.

First black female police and crime commissioners elected

19:42 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

The first black female police and crime commissioners have been elected in England and Wales.

Labour’s Emma Wools won the contest to become the new PCC for South Wales, while party colleague Nicolle Ndiweni was elected in Derbyshire.

Ms Wools replaces former Wales first minister Alun Michael, who did not seek re-election after 12 years in the role.

Ms Wools, who has been the unelected deputy PCC since 2017, received 73,128 votes, the Conservatives 43,344, Plaid Cymru 27,410 and the Liberal Democrats 17,908.

In Derbyshire Ms Ndiweni received 93,260 votes, pipping the Conservatives with 65,293 votes, Reform finished third with 32,944 votes and the Liberal Democrats fourth with 22,540.

Tories lose Dudley Council

19:44 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

The Conservatives have lost control of Dudley in the West Midlands, after Labour gained eight seats.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer made the council one of his top targets, but the party fell short of taking overall control by three seats.

Conservatives and Labour both have 34 seats on the new council, with three Lib Dem councillors and one independent holding the balance of power.

Signs of tighter race in London than polls predicted

20:04 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

The total number of votes cast in the London mayoral election has now been counted, meaning the level of turnout in different parts of the capital can now be seen.

The data shows that turnout has increased or held steady in some traditionally Tory areas of outer London, and gone down in Labour strongholds in inner London – suggesting a tighter race than had been anticipated.

A path to victory for Conservative candidate Susan Hall – who was thought to be a significant distance behind Labour’s Sadiq Khan – could depend on turnout being lower in the inner city, compared with the more Tory suburbs.

In the Conservative-dominated boroughs of Bexley and Bromley, turnout has risen from 44 per cent in 2021’s election to 48 per cent this year.

In Havering and Redbridge – another strong Tory area overall – turnout rose from roughly 42 per cent in 2021 to about 43 per cent this time.

In Croydon and Sutton, which has almost always voted for a Conservative mayor, turnout held steady compared with the last election – at about 42 per cent.

Meanwhile in the traditionally Labour-voting areas of inner London, turnout has decreased slightly.

In the North East London constituency – a London Assembly seat comprising Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest – turnout has gone down from 42 per cent in 2021 to about 40 per cent.

In the City and East seat – made up of the City of London, Barking and Dagenham, Newham, and Tower Hamlets – turnout has decreased from 35 per cent to 31 per cent.

Another Labour stronghold, Lambeth and Southwark, has seen turnout decline from 41 per cent in 2021 to 39 per cent this year.

Overall, 40.5 per cent of eligible voters cast ballots in the London mayoral election – 1.5 per cent lower than the 2021 turnout.

Greens narrowly miss out on gaining Bristol, despite big gain

20:12 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

The Greens fell narrowly short of taking overall control of Bristol, one of their top targets, despite gaining 10 seats.

The party now has 34 of the 70, with Labour on 21 after losing two, Lib Dems on eight after gaining three and the Conservatives on seven after losing seven.

London mayoral race ‘might be tighter than one would imagine’, says Work and Pensions Secretary

20:30 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride has said it appears the mayoral race in London “might be tight than one would imagine”.

The number of votes for each candidate will not be counted until tomorrow, but figures this evening reveal the total number of votes cast. They suggest a tighter race than anticipated, with turnout increasing or holding steady in some traditionally Tory areas of outer London, and falling in Labour strongholds in inner London.

Mr Stride told Sky News: “We have to wait for the results. There are indeed suggestions that it might be tighter than one would imagine.”

He added: “We’ve had a lot of results so far, but we still have a lot more to come including of course the West Midlands mayoral results.

“So let’s wait and see what happens.”

He went on to suggest Sadiq Khan’s Ulez expansion scheme, increasing knife crime in London, and what he described as “the war on motorists” could have worked against the incumbent mayor’s favour.

A look at the national picture so far, with 99 of 107 councils declared…

20:46 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Lib Dems gain Dorset Council from Conservatives

20:48 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

The Liberal Democrats have gained control of Dorset Council from the Conservatives.

Lib Dem leader Ed Davey hailed it “a historic result” as he said: “The Liberal Democrats are back in the West Country.

“After our stunning parliamentary by-election wins in Tiverton & Honiton and Somerton & Frome, and our fantastic local election victories in the last two years in Somerset and Devon, and now Dorset, the Liberal Democrats are truly on the up in the West Country.”

Labour MP says stance on Gaza lost the party votes

20:55 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Labour MP Clive Betts said there was “no doubt at all about it” the party had lost votes as a result of its stance on Gaza.

The Sheffield South East MP added: “In my constituency people tell me that very clearly, and in one of the wards which was one of our safest wards, an independent candidate got elected fighting solely on the issue of Gaza, he didn’t fight on anything else, that was all his leaflets were about.

“So people voted on the basis that they were unhappy with Labour, and unhappy with our stance on Gaza.

“A lot of that was mistaken, on the belief that we hadn’t changed our position on Gaza from a few months ago, but once people take a view that we have got it wrong, it is very difficult to change their minds.”

Results continue to trickle in from local election battles

21:35 , Robert Dex

Results continue to trickle in tonight with some showing a confusing picture complicated by local issues.

In Elmbridge in Surrey, local Lib Dem council leader Bruce McDonald lost his Claygate seat to Independent Mary Marshall. She secured 39.9% of the ward vote, with 1,020 votes against his 858 votes (33.5%).

The council remains in no overall control, but despite losing their leader elsewhere in the borough there were three Lib Dem gains. The Conservatives lost three seats and the Residents’ group lost one.

The new council line-up is Lib Dem 23; Residents 15; Conservative nine; Independent one.

Green Party set to run Bristol City Council despite not winning outright control

21:57 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

The Green Party could be set to run Bristol City Council despite failing to win outright control.

They won 34 of the 70 seats up for grabs on the local authority and will now begin talks with other parties to try to form an administration on what will be the largest council they will run.

The council is now switching to a committee-led model of local government after the post of directly elected mayor was axed following a referendum.

Green Party co-leader Carla Denyer, who has stepped down as a Bristol councillor to focus on her parliamentary campaign to become MP for Bristol Central, said: “The Greens campaigned for a switch from the mayoral system to a committee because we believe no one party has a monopoly on good ideas, and we want to work cross-party.

“The Greens will be part of the administration on Bristol City Council. What exactly the shape of that administration is will remain to be seen but the committee system means cross-party co-operation should be hard-wired into how the council works from now on.

“I am looking forward to seeing what the changes are that we can deliver for Bristolians.”

The latest picture, with 101 councils declared…

22:08 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Michael Gove’s election agent loses Woking Council seat

22:18 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove’s election agent has lost his seat on Woking Council as the Conservative presence was wiped out in the Surrey town.

Steve Dorsett was defeated in Pyrford ward by Lib Dem Attia Aslam by 385 votes.

Mr Gove is MP for Surrey Heath, and had a majority of 18,349 at the 2019 general election.

Coverage ends here

22:26 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

That’s the end of our elections coverage for tonight, but we’ll be back early tomorrow morning to continue our live coverage, including bringing you the much-anticipated results of the London mayoral election.

For now, goodnight and thank you for following along with us today.

For more politics coverage and a closer look at today’s events, visit our politics page.

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