Historic Result in Northumberland as Labour win Hexham

Historic Result in Northumberland as Labour win Hexham
There was a seismic result in Northumberland as Labour won the Hexham seat for the first time in history.

The constituency has been a safe Conservative seat for the last century. But Labour’s Joe Morris overturned a Tory majority of more than 10,000 to become the party’s first ever representative for the area.

Mr Morris received 23,988 votes, while Mr Opperman won 20,275. The announcement was met with a huge reaction from Labour Party activists despite the result coming late into the night.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Mr Morris said he was “humbled” by the vote but “excited” to start work.

He added: “It’s a historic night. We have never sent a Labour MP from the Hexham constituency to Westminster before. “It’s an immense honour and an immense privilege, but also an immense responsibility. I’m really excited to start delivering.

“This result shows that we can go and win anywhere. It shows that Keir Starmer was right to change the Labour Party. It’s been a great night in Northumberland. I will be the most accessible, open and transparent MP that I can be.”

The Newcastle Chronicle is reporting that in a speech to the counting hall, Mr Morris also paid tribute to Mr Opperman, who had been the MP since 2010.

Speaking to the LDRS, former Roads Minister Mr Opperman acknowledged the party’s national performance had not helped on a local level.

He said: “Clearly, the national picture has not helped. It is very difficult. It’s been an extremely difficult time to be in Government. You can see that in France, and in Germany. You could have had the greatest leader anyone has ever known and they would be struggling. There have been difficulties along the way – that is regrettable. I congratulate my successor – he has got the greatest job in the world in the best constituency in the world. Representing the Hexham constituency every single day is the proudest moment.”

When asked, Mr Opperman declined to comment on the future of the Conservative Party.

Elsewhere, Green Party candidate Nick Morphet, a Northumberland county councillor, receiving 2,467 votes while former Newcastle city councillor Nick Cott received 2,376. SDP leader William Clouston received 1,211 votes while independent candidate Chris Whaley won 1,211.

Mr Clouston said: “It was a decent performance and a very good start. We haven’t contested the constituency before, it’s a good start for the future.”

Mr Cott added: “I’m really pleased I stood and I’ really proud of what we were able to deliver. The national picture meant Labour were going to make massive strides.

“I feel very passionate about Hexham. We will be watching what the new MP, who I congratulate, does with interest, and we will hold him and the new Government to account both locally and in parliament with all our new Liberal Democrat MPs. The campaign was contested with great dignity.”

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