Jeremy Corbyn has said he will not lead the Labour Party into another general election as his party faced humiliation in the 2019 General Election.
The Tories claimed swathes of the Labour heartlands after the Prime Minister’s “get Brexit done” election message hit home with working class Leave voters.
Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson lost her East Dunbartonshire seat to the SNP and the Westminster DUP leader Nigel Dodds was also voted out.
Other key events from the counts:
– Jeremy Corbyn says he won’t immediately quit as leader, but would not lead Labour into another election.
– Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson narrowly loses her Dunbartonshire East seat
– DUP Westminster leader Nigel Dodds voted out
– Chuka Umunna fails to win a seat as a Lib Dem
– Few bright spots for Labour, but they take Putney and Rosie Duffield keeps ultra-marginal Canterbury
WATCH: Jeremy Corbyn announces he won’t lead Labour into another election
Asked if the election brought into question her leadership of the DUP, Arlene Foster told PA: “No, not at all.
“There are very clear reasons why we lost North Belfast and South Belfast in relation to pan-nationalism coming together to unseat (DUP MPs) under the umbrella of Remain.
“This election was not about that, this election was about the return of devolution and people wanting us all to get back into devolution, and that’s certainly where my focus is next week and I hope all of the other parties have the same focus to get the assembly and executive back and running again.”
Speaking after she lost her seat, ex-Labour MP Caroline Flint blamed Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and Remain-backing MPs for the party’s woes.
Ms Flint got more than 8,000 fewer votes in the Don Valley seat she had held since 1997 as the Tories triumphed.
She told BBC News: “I think there are two fronts I was fighting on. One front was the fact that so many of my voters could not and did not want to support Jeremy Corbyn to be prime minister.
“But the second front was the Labour party’s position on Brexit, that we moved to a position of being more like a ‘stop Brexit’ Remain party, which wasn’t the promise we made in 2017 at the general election.”
She added: “I’m afraid to say there are moderate MPs who have driven us into a dead-end regarding Brexit and they have put the pursuit of Remain at the expense of our working-class heartlands and I feel annoyed to say the least about that.”
What don’t you understand Robert. The Labour Remainer message buried colleagues in Labour Leave seats along with hostility to Corbyn. https://t.co/CU6xTlFEH8
— Caroline Flint (@CarolineFlintMP) December 13, 2019
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell, when asked what he and Jeremy Corbyn could have done differently for the campaign, told the PA news agency: “I’m not sure if we could because if we’d have either been a Leave party we’d have alienated our Remain supporters – they are a majority within our party – and if we’d been a Remain party we’d have alienated the Leave.
“We were caught on the horns of that dilemma and as a principled position we thought we may be able to bring the country together – failed.”
Former Apprentice winner Michelle Dewberry failed to win Hull West and Hessle for the Brexit Party.
Disappointing result, but I never feared losing, I feared only not trying my best. With my hand on my heart, I know there was nothing more we could have done.
Thank you to everyone for the votes & the support.
And now, I’m gonna sleep for a week… 😂😂😂
— Michelle Dewberry (@MichelleDewbs) December 13, 2019
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) December 13, 2019
THANK YOU to voters in the #Witham constituency for re-electing me as your Member of Parliament. I will continue to be your strong voice, standing up for all communities across the entire constituency.
— Priti Patel (@patel4witham) December 13, 2019
Former prime minister Theresa May said she is pleased with Boris Johnson’s majority.
Speaking to BBC News, Ms May said: “Well I’m very pleased at the majority that Boris has achieved because this has done the essential thing, which I think for many people led how they voted at this election, which is enabling us to have a Parliament that is going to have, with a majority government, the ability to take decisions and crucially the ability to get the Brexit legislation through.
“So we can get Brexit sorted, get Brexit done and move the country on, and then focus on those many other priorities that people want the government to focus on, on a day-to-day basis.”
Asked whether Mr Johnson can secure a comprehensive trade deal in 11 months, Ms May replied: “Yes, because actually an awful lot of work on that has already been done.”
Discussing whether the SNP’s success could lead to another Scottish independence referendum, Ms May added: “Well I think it’s very simple, I would advise him (Mr Johnson) to continue taking the position he has done, which was the position that I took.
“Which is that the Scottish National Party said themselves in 2014 that that referendum about Scottish independence was a once in a generational, indeed a once in a lifetime referendum, and therefore they should accept that result.”
The US President has responded to tonight’s events:
Looking like a big win for Boris in the U.K.!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2019
The Tories official media Twitter account was criticised during the campaign for changing it’s Twitter name from CCHQ Press to FactCheckUK – but seemingly has had the last laugh with it’s latest post:
— CCHQ Press (@CCHQPress) December 13, 2019
Labour’s re-elected Barking and Dagenham MP Margaret Hodge, who clashed with Mr Corbyn over his handling of anti-Semitism in their party tweeted:
Corbyn talking about a period of ‘reflection’.
I’ve reflected. You failed. Please stand down.
— Margaret Hodge (@margarethodge) December 13, 2019
Nicola Sturgeon responds to hearing the SNP have defeated Jo Swinson.
Jacob Rees-Mogg has retained his North East Somerset seat with a majority of 14,729.
He paid tribute to his family for their help with his campaigning and said there had been “some healthy competitive spirit between some of my sons”.
“My greatest gratitude goes to the prime minister who has managed to win this victory for the Conservative party and to ensure that he can deliver on the promises that he has given,” Mr Rees-Mogg said.
“I think that his leadership, his inspiration, has been of enormous importance to the Conservative party up and down the country.”
— Claire Hayhurst (@clairehayhurst) December 13, 2019
Boris Johnson said: “Clearly lots of results are still coming in and we’re still mainly dealing with projections but at this stage it does look as though this One Nation Conservative government has been given a powerful new mandate to get Brexit done.
“And not just to get Brexit done, but to untie this country and to take it forward and to focus on the priorities of the British people, and above all, on the NHS.
“And yes we will recruit 50,000 more nurses and 6,000 more GPs, and we will build 40 new hospitals and I am proud to say that one of those hospitals will be right here in Uxbridge and South Ruislip.
“And I am grateful, I am grateful once again, to the people of Uxbridge and South Ruislip for returning me to serve you.
“It is an absolute privilege to do this job and to work for you.”
It’s been a long few weeks for everyone… pic.twitter.com/uHQsuVyJ4N
— Richard Wheeler (@richard_kaputt) December 13, 2019
RESULT: Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson has lost her Dunbartonshire East seat by around 150 votes.
In his victory speech, Mr Johnson: “It does look as though this One Nation Conservative government has been given a powerful new mandate to get Brexit done.”
He repeated that he did not want to call a December election but it had turned out to be “historic”.
RESULT: Boris Johnson has held his Uxbridge and Ruislip South seat with 25,351 votes – Labour got 18,141.
Jeremy Corbyn said he will remain as MP for Islington North.
He said: “I want to say this, I will remain the MP for Islington North and I’m proud to represent the people of Islington North.”
He added: “And I’m proud in Parliament and outside that we will forever continue the cause for socialism, for social justice and for a society based on the needs of all rather than the greed of a few.
“That is what makes our party what it is and I’m very proud of the achievements of our party and the development of its manifesto and its ideas.
“I tell you what, those ideas and those principles are eternal and they will be there for all time.”
Congratulations to my successor. It’s been a great honour to represent Nottingham for the past decade
The country’s been landed with Johnson for 5 years. And all because of the self-indulgent Labour hard left, denying the public a credible alternative.We warned this would happen pic.twitter.com/4S9R4zr4wo
— Chris Leslie (@ChrisLeslieUK) December 13, 2019
Dilyn the dog was brought to the count by Ms Symonds and Mr Johnson.
The dog yawned as photographers took pictures.
As Mr Corbyn announced he would stand down, the Conservatives tweeted: “Things can only get better.”
Things can only get better.
— Conservatives (@Conservatives) December 13, 2019
A scuffle appeared to break out in the crowd as Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell was declared winner in Hayes and Harlington.
Cries of “liar” and “terrorist” rang out as Mr McDonnell was giving his acceptance speech. Police had to intervene to temper the disturbance.
The Labour veteran said: “It is quite clear that there are fears also now for our democracy and the rise of the extreme right.
“But I say now we will organise and we will ensure this type of democracy will reign, and the democratic wishes of our people will be respected, and this sort of extreme right wing violence will not be tolerated within our society.”
Winning his Islington North seat for the 10th time, Mr Corbyn thanked his voters.
He added: “I want to also make it clear that I will not lead the party in any future general election campaign.
“I will discuss with our party to ensure there is a process now of reflection on this result and on the policies that the party will take going forward.
“And I will lead the party during that period to ensure that discussion takes place and we move on into the future.”
A scuffle broke out in the crowd as shadow chancellor John McDonnell made a speech after winning his seat of Hayes and Harlington.
A police officer stepped in.
Mr McDonnell was heckled throughout his speech by a man shouting “terrorist”.
Boris Johnson’s partner Carrie Symonds tweeted about Mr Goldsmith’s defeat:
Gutted to hear that @ZacGoldsmith hasn’t been re-elected in Richmond. We have lost a truly decent, hardworking MP. I know I will continue to work with him to promote animal welfare and protect our oceans & environment. Zac is one of my heroes.
— Carrie Symonds (@carriesymonds) December 13, 2019
Conservative sources say the party has asked for a recount in Bedford.
The classic tight Conservative-Labour marginal is regarded as a good indicator of the national trend – the winner here has in most elections come from the party which won the election overall.
The loss of the seat by the Conservatives to Labour in 2017 highlighted the trend of the Tories losing their overall majority in Parliament. The Conservatives will regain the seat with a swing of 0.81%.
RESULT: Tory Zac Goldsmith has lost Richmond Park to Lib Dem challenger Sarah Olney.
Former attorney general Dominic Grieve accused Boris Johnson of having an “incapacity to tell the truth”.
Mr Grieve, who had the Tory whip removed after he backed manoeuvres in Parliament to block a no-deal Brexit, told ITV: “As I’ve said throughout this campaign I’m a unionist – that matters to me very much and I am very fearful for the future of the union both in the context of Northern Ireland and of Scotland.
“So I have absolutely no regrets of standing on this platform at all.
“Indeed quite frankly with the leadership which Mr Johnson has been offering, and my own views about his suitability as a prime minister and his incapacity to tell the truth, I wouldn’t wish to be the member of a party that was led by him.”
Mr Grieve is standing as an independent candidate in the constituency of Beaconsfield.
Hard-left socialism has been crushed tonight. Great news!
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) December 13, 2019
Labour’s Rosie Duffield defied the national swing and won the ultra-marginal Canterbury seat with an increased majority.
Speaking after the announcement she said: “Thank you, thank you, thank you very much – the best constituency in the world.
“I am so grateful that you have given me another chance to be your MP and I will not let you down.
“Thank you everyone who has volunteered, there is no way I can thank you enough.”
Ms Duffield polled 29,018 votes, ahead of the Conservative candidate Anna Firth’s 27,182. In 2017 she was the surprise winner of the traditionally Tory stronghold seat, with a wafer-thin majority of 187 votes.
Asked if she would run for leader of the party, Labour’s Jess Phillips told ITV: “I have absolutely no idea, is the truth. I haven’t slept for 48 hours.
“I don’t know what is going to happen next, but what I do know is that if we just think this is just some personality contest at the top of the party, that that’s going to be the answer to rescue the single greatest vehicle for social change, then we will inevitably end up in a poor situation.
“So I’m not going to sit here and start some sort of election race or even demand that Jeremy Corbyn goes because the Labour Party was never just about Jeremy Corbyn, it never was, regardless of the song.
It feels like a punch in the stomach, we will all be thinking of the harm that can be done to those we care for. I understand, I feel pain, take that anger you feel and know it has to be fuel. Maybe not tonight but tomorrow.
— Jess Phillips Esq., (@jessphillips) December 12, 2019
“It was always about much much more, and we’ve got to do much much more to find out where we’ve been going wrong.”
Ms Phillips added: “People don’t trust Boris Johnson. There is no trust left in politics, and so the bar has got so low that we could allow somebody like Boris Johnson to rule our country with what seems like a blank cheque.
“We have got to rebuild trust, and that isn’t just about me, it is about so much more, and if people trust me then yes I will take a role in rebuilding, but I’m not going to sit here and just make your headlines tonight when the thing that matters to me more than anything, and that is having a healthy vehicle to change the world, is in tatters.”
Labour MP Stella Creasy, who was targeted by anti-abortion activists in her Walthamstow seat has hit back at them as she was returned.
Dear @CPA_Party you were too chicken to face me in person on the stage tonight so you wouldn’t have heard me say that this is walthamstow not Gilead. Now you have lost your deposit you may wish to know the A406 is here for you to leave on and never come back to bother us again… https://t.co/9pEwV1ApG9
— stellacreasy (@stellacreasy) December 13, 2019
Former Brexit secretary David Davis was late for his own winning declaration in Haltemprice and Howden.
Davis arrived around 1 minute after being declared the winner pic.twitter.com/k21ZdkHvZY
— Phil Casey (@pcaseysafc) December 13, 2019
He arrived about a minute after the announcement was complete.
Jeremy Corbyn has been seen talking to supporters on the count floor in Islington where he was joined by his wife, Laura Alvarez, and his communications chief, Seumas Milne.
He is not expected to give any statement on his future as Labour leader until his seat result is announced.
Brexit Party Leader Nigel Farage said he believes Boris Johnson will extend the transition period for leaving the EU until 2022.
Speaking to Sky News, Mr Farage said: “The truth of it is, half the Cabinet voted Remain. Michael Gove – I was with him earlier – clearly wants the softest of all Brexits.
“Boris, whilst he is committed to Leave, has never really, I don’t think, has been keen on leaving on WTO terms.
“My view is a big majority means that the influence of the ERG, the influence of those who are committed Eurosceptics, becomes a lot weaker and I would expect, I’ll predict, by July 1 we will be extending the transition period out until 2022.”
Labour Party chairman Ian Lavery blamed the party’s Brexit stance for the poor show in the polls.
Mr Lavery, who held the Wansbeck seat but with 7,000 fewer votes, told BBC News: “My view is a simple view and that is that you cannot ignore democracy. You can try and push it away if you wish but the people in the North, the people who I associate myself with on a daily basis, are very much aggrieved.
“They are very angry at the fact that we’re still not out of the EU after three years and a half years. The thing is, they do blame the failure of the negotiators of the Tory Party, but they think and they have seen and they believe that the Labour Party is Remain Party.
“The fact of the matter is they are not going to tolerate that.”
He added: “I have been explaining to colleagues of mine for more than 18 months, possibly two years, that we shouldn’t have went down that path.
“But we are a democratic party and it’s not Jeremy Corbyn’s decision, this is a decision that was agreed by conference in 2019.”
A video posted to Twitter by Financial Times journalist Sebastian Payne showed Conservative chairman James Cleverly addressing activists at the party’s headquarters.
“However this plays out, we are in the world of good news,” he said.
“I love this organisation, I love the party… This is the most successful political movement in the history of mankind,” Mr Cleverly said to whoops and cheers.
Laura Parker, the national co-ordinator of Labour campaign group Momentum, said: “Obviously we need to wait for the full results but it looks like Brexit dominated.
“It’s unquestionable that Labour’s policies are popular. Every poll shows it, and there is absolutely no appetite to go back to the centrist policies of old. But in this election we were squeezed by Brexit and it was the defining issue.”
RESULT: Labour has won Putney from the Tories. The seat had been represented by Justine Greening who was Education Secretary under Theresa May, but had the Tory whip removed over her Brexit views and chose not to re-run.
Former speaker John Bercow has reignited his rift with Andrea Leadsom, accusing her of suffering “from the rather material disadvantage of being wrong”.
Mr Bercow added that the former leader of the House “didn’t have a strong grasp of parliamentary procedure”.
He also said that he has never bullied anyone in his life, and revealed that he would accept a peerage if it was offered to him.
Speaking on Sky News, Mr Bercow addressed criticism that he did not remain impartial in his role when overseeing Brexit-related business.
Mr Bercow said: “My job was to stand up for Parliament. On the issue of Brexit, the truth of the matter is, if you look back, the consistent thread in my speakership was that I stood up for the rights of minorities to be heard.
“When Brexiteers were in the minority on the Conservative side, in fact, when the word Brexiteer hadn’t even been coined, they were known as Eurosceptics, I consistently gave them their head.”
“And as for Andrea Leadsom, well Andrea was perfectly entitled to her views, she didn’t have a very strong grasp of parliamentary procedure, and she was entitled to her opinion, but she suffered from the rather material disadvantage of being wrong.”
Colum Eastwood says it will be up to whoever’s elected to protect Northern Irish citizens from the worst elements of Boris Johnson’s government. pic.twitter.com/Nhnc6LkrRb
— aoife-grace moore. (@aoifegracemoore) December 13, 2019
The new Speaker of the House Sir Lindsay Hoyle has held his Chorley seat with 67.30% of the vote)
Traditionally the Speaker stands unopposed, and in the vote he faced only a Green candidate and an Independent, although that independent Mark Brexit-Smith got 23% of the vote in the Lancashire seat.
Arron Banks, the co-founder of the Leave.EU campaign, said it was “job done” after Tory Remainer MPs were “purged” from the party.
Speaking to the BBC, he said: “This has always been about pressure. What we’ve tried to do is return the Conservative party to its core roots which I think we have done.”
He said: “Let’s say 40 or so strong Remainers in parliament, 30 are gone.”
Mr Banks was sitting in the studio next to former Liberal Democrat MP Heidi Allen, who quit the Tories over Brexit, who chipped in and said the word “purged”.
Mr Banks agreed and said: “Purged, I would say,” adding: “We set out to make the Conservative party conservative again and I think it’s job done. Well done to Boris.”
Outgoing Labour MP for Vauxhall Kate Hoey, who campaigned for Leave in the EU referendum, tweeted:
There are many reasons for these dreadful results for Labour but all those Labour MP’s who spent the last two years doing everything possible to delay and stop us Leaving the EU need to hide their heads in shame @talkRADIO
— Kate Hoey (@CatharineHoey) December 13, 2019
Meanwhile, another Labour MP who has stepped down – former deputy leader Tom Watson – was asked on Channel 4 if Jeremy Corbyn had to go and he replied: “No I don’t think he has to go. I think more importantly before you have any talk of a leadership election in the Labour Party, first of all let’s find out if these exit polls are correct.
“But if they do represent a big defeat for us, we have to have a proper analysis of why this has happened.
“We’ve stood on two manifestos that are broadly similar in the last two elections. Many of the policies within them the polls told us were popular with voters. We need to find out what went wrong.”
He added: “Boris Johnson is going to rule this country for five years. The Labour Party can find some space for itself to understand what it has to do to reconnect with the millions of voters it’s lost in the last decade, otherwise it won’t have a future.”
Ken Livingstone, the former Labour MP and Mayor of London, predicts Jeremy Corbyn will resign.
He said his friend and ally had paid the price for several aspects of his campaign, including not taking more action against anti-Semitism.
“The Jewish vote wasn’t very helpful,” Mr Livingstone told PA news agency.
“Jeremy should have tackled that issue far earlier than he did. It looks like the end for Jeremy, which is disappointing for me since I’m a close ally. I’m sure he’ll have to resign tomorrow.”
It is now 49 days until Britain is scheduled to leave the EU – made all the more likely by the predicted Tory gains tonight.
Labour's performance since 1935. pic.twitter.com/Ky4C7H9nZL
— Ian Jones (@ian_a_jones) December 13, 2019
Political rivals Lord Buckethead and Count Binface have clashed in the Prime Minister’s constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip.
With Boris Johnson not expected to appear in Uxbridge for some time, it was left to the fringe candidates to take centre stage as the election count got under way,
Independent Count Binface told the PA news agency: “If I get a big fat zero that would be a record.”
Lord Buckethead and Count Binface… still not as surreal as Boris Johnson correcting a child who shouted “boobies” about the Incredible Hulk during the campaign, but here we are. pic.twitter.com/5b86xp0z0n
— Richard Wheeler (@richard_kaputt) December 13, 2019
Comedian Jon Harvey, who plays the Count, was seen mocking Lord Buckethead – making a thumbs down behind his back, shouting “Fake news” and singing the American national anthem.
Mr Harvey previously ran as Lord Buckethead in Theresa May’s constituency in 2017, but cited “an unpleasant battle on the planet Copyright” as the reason behind the switch to Count Binface.