Labour has “made history”, Sir Keir Starmer said, after his party dealt a double by-election blow to Rishi Sunak by overturning huge Tory majorities in Tamworth and Mid Bedfordshire.
The party leader vowed to “repay” people who lent Labour their vote in the two seats, which both previously had comfortable Conservative majorities.
Appearing alongside winning candidate Alistair Strathern at the Forest Centre & Millennium Country Park near Bedford, Sir Keir said: “What a fantastic candidate… He has not only won here, he’s made history here over the past 24 hours. An incredible achievement already.”
Sir Keir claimed Labour was “redrawing the political map” by taking seats which had been comfortably Conservative, ahead of the general election expected next year.
In Tamworth, Labour’s Sarah Edwards defeated Tory Andrew Cooper by a majority of 1,316.
The Conservatives were defending a 19,634 majority, but a 23.9 percentage point swing to Labour saw that eradicated.
Reaction to the results has been quick to land on social media, but this report from Rob Powell probably best encapsulates the scale of the defeat.
Take a look below: