Labour boasted they’d win 400 seats at the local election, but humiliating results leave them more than 70 down as Sir Tony Robinson quits the party over its ‘complete s***’ leadershipJohn McDonnell boasted that he expected Labour to win more than 400 seatsBut party eventually lost more than 70 councillors in a humiliating set of…
Labour boasted they’d win 400 seats at the local election, but humiliating results leave them more than 70 down as Sir Tony Robinson quits the party over its ‘complete s***’ leadership
- John McDonnell boasted that he expected Labour to win more than 400 seats
- But party eventually lost more than 70 councillors in a humiliating set of results
- It suffered a string of stunning reverses in heartlands and Leave-voting areas
Jeremy Corbyn was humiliated in Labour’s heartlands yesterday as the party lost councillors on a night it had hoped to gain hundreds.
In a disastrous set of results for an Opposition party, Labour recorded a net loss of dozens of councillors – and lost control of six councils.
The party suffered a string of stunning reverses in heartlands and Leave- voting areas such as Hartlepool and Bolsover, the local council of Left-wing firebrand Dennis Skinner.
By 7.30pm last night, Labour had recorded a net loss of more than 70 councillors.
Despite Theresa May’s extensive troubles, Labour ended up with the same national vote share as the Conservatives.
In a disastrous set of results for an Opposition party, Labour (Jeremy Corbyn is pictured left) recorded a net loss of dozens of councillors – and lost control of six councils. Despite Theresa May’s (right) extensive troubles, Labour ended up with the same national vote share as the Conservatives
As the polls closed on Thursday night, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell (pictured) was boasting that he expected Labour to win more than 400 seats
The astonishing scale of Labour’s failure came as a total shock to the party leadership. As the polls closed on Thursday night, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell was boasting that he expected Labour to win more than 400 seats.
By yesterday morning he was forced to admit the voters’ message from the local elections was: ‘Brexit – sort it.’
He added: ‘Message received.’ Mr Corbyn could only say he was ‘very sorry’ at the scale of the losses. Last night, an internal row broke out over the party’s Brexit policy, with backbench MPs saying the poor performance was because of its mixed messages on the issue.
Former Cabinet minister Ben Bradshaw said: ‘When you cower in the middle of the road on the biggest existential crisis facing Britain for generations, you get squashed.’
I quit after 45 years, says furious Baldrick
He once had a cunning plan to get Labour in power.
But that’s all history now, as Blackadder star Sir Tony Robinson last night quit the party over its ‘complete s***’ leadership.
The actor, who played Baldrick, said he had left Labour after 45 years because of Brexit and anti-Semitism.
Actor Tony Robinson as Baldrick in Blackadder
He described as ‘duplicity’ the party’s decision not to come down fully on the side of a second referendum.
Sir Tony has appeared in party political broadcasts for Labour and has served on its ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) from 2000 to 2004.
He tweeted: ‘I’ve left the Labour Party after nearly 45 years of service at branch, constituency and NEC levels, partly because of its continued duplicity on Brexit, partly because of its anti-Semitism, but also because its leadership is complete s***.’
Sir Tony tweeted to say he was leaving the Labour party
Actress Tracy Ann Oberman replied: ‘I feel your pain. Huge part of our identity – gone x.’
But one Corbynista said: ‘The middle-classes always cave in, they never have the stamina for a long fight.’
Another wrote: ‘Bye bye, sulky saboteur.’
During the 1980s Sir Tony played Baldrick, famous for his cunning plans, across four series of Blackadder.
Remain-supporting Labour MPs said the fact that both the Liberal Democrats and the Greens had done well showed the party should back a second referendum.
Jess Phillips said: ‘Those who had a clear message last night seem to have prospered much better. People don’t know where the Labour Party stand on Brexit.’
But MPs in Leave areas claimed the polls proved the party would prosper only if it helped to facilitate Brexit.
Labour chairman Ian Lavery told the BBC the ‘clear message’ from the local elections was that ‘the two parties need to get on and get Brexit sorted’.
One MP, Neil Coyle, blamed Mr Corbyn himself for the poor results, saying: ‘The number one negative for Labour was Jeremy Corbyn.’
Lucy Powell, the MP for Manchester Central, said Mr Corbyn was losing the support of the working classes. ‘It’s a mixed picture for us, but the key worrying trend is the white working-class moving away from Labour,’ she said. ‘It’s a long-term trend, but Brexit has put rocket boosters under it.’
Labour celebrated taking Trafford Council in Greater Manchester, and it made gains in Amber Valley, High Peak and Calderdale.
But results elsewhere were disastrous. The party in Barnsley said it was their worst night in years, with a 17 per cent swing to the Lib Dems. And Labour lost control of Bolsover for the first time in 40 years. Outgoing Labour leader Ann Syrett said: ‘What we’ve met on the doorstep is that it’s just not clear to people what Labour means on Brexit. It simply isn’t clear.’
Visiting Trafford, where the party won overall control for the first time since 2003, Mr Corbyn said he was ‘very sorry’ at the scale of losses. ‘I wanted us to do better, of course,’ he said. ‘Results across the country are interesting, to put it mildly. But I also say the swings to Labour in many parts of the country show that we can win seats in a general election, whenever that comes.’
Conservative chairman Brandon Lewis said: ‘Last night John McDonnell was boasting about winning more than 400 seats.
‘They’re actually going backwards, which is a dreadful place to be in Opposition.’
Former Labour minister Chris Bryant said: ‘I never thought constructive ambiguity would survive the white heat of the ballot box. Voters want to know what they’re getting from a party. Fudge just sickens them.’
London mayor Sadiq Khan said: ‘What’s important is that before the European elections, we have clarity in relation to our position on Europe. In my view, that means giving the British public a final say on whether they accept the deal negotiated by the Prime Minister or the one which has the most support in Parliament, with the option of remaining in the EU.’
But shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said: ‘We are not a second-referendum-at-all-costs party.’
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