Tories topple Labour stronghold; Corbyn in the dock again

Tories topple Labour stronghold; Corbyn in the dock again

Tories topple Labour stronghold; Corbyn in the dock again

Meanwhile in Stoke, Tristram Hunt resigned from office in January - opting for a prestigious role as a director at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

So who - or what - are allies of Jeremy Corbyn blaming for the historic defeat?

This week's by-elections were required because the sitting MPs - both Labour - quit, for jobs outside Parliament.

Local factors played a part in Labour's defeat.

"Last year, Labour's deputy leader (Tom Watson) warned of entryism in Labour by the far-left". He didn't speak about the new axis between globalisation and nationalism, the theme of James Forsyth's cover story this week.

"We have said with one voice that hatred and bigotry are not welcome here". They also dismissed the idea that the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election win balanced out the Copeland defeat, highlighting the swing away from Labour in both seats. "As John McDonnell said this morning, Labour lost Copeland because of Jeremy Corbyn's ambiguous attitude to nuclear power".

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However, as Matt Singh of NumbrCrunchr Politics points out, these are "mostly the product of freakish circumstances... none of which apply to Copeland". This is an odd depiction of the "Northern Powerhouse': indeed, the most recent Treasury document on that project forgot to mention Cumbria at all". His candidate had faced a fierce battle with UKIP, the party that campaigned for Britain to leave Europe.

The scenic Lake District saw the second battle with Labour battling to save its seat in the Copeland constituency held by the party for more than 80 years. The 1966 Hull North result does not count as a "gain" as Labour already held it. Paul Nuttall's leadership of the party has been a string of high-profile embarrassments.

Nuttall's UKIP, which now has only one member of parliament (MP) had viewed the Labour heartlands as a potential springboard to transform itself into a key opposition party on the Conservatives' right flank.

Almost all commentators saw it as a humiliation for Labour. The Labour party has always been a broad coalition. After the 2014 referendum, that assumption was proved wrong.

Yet questions still remain about the appetite of the 67-year-old veteran socialist to lead Labour through the gruelling challenges ahead - especially the 2020 general election.

"We mustn't bury our head in the sand - this is a very bad election result for us", she said. 'But for many people in towns like Wigan it doesn't feel the same at all.

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Nandy has identified 50 towns to try to fix the relationship between the people and the party.

"Because Labour didn't just lose Copeland". Until that is grasped we will continue to see what has happened continue.

The Baroness referred to the large number of Labour party members and reiterated the Prime Minister had no plan on Brexit and for the future.

Ms Harrison said her victory showed "the people are ready for change".

"Ignoring this insults everyone who needs a Labour government", he said. At a local level, for instance, I found out that the party's headquarters held "contact rate' data, working out how many voters in each constituency have been contacted about their voting intention".

Labour has rebellion fatigue after a failed coup last summer.

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"We have to listen to that because clearly it wasn't a strong enough message they were getting from the Labour party about our policy on nuclear energy".

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