Anger against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn left Harrogate General Election candidate fighting losing battle

Generally thought to have fought a good campaign, Labour candidate Mark Sewards was defiant despite seeing half his votes from 2017 in Harrogate and Knaresborough leak to the Lib Dems and, to a lesser extent, the Tories.

Friday, 13th December 2019, 4:23 am
Updated Friday, 13th December 2019, 4:25 am
Labour candidate Mark Sewards lost out to Conservative Andrew Jones.

He praised his "amazing team of activists" for their incredible efforts in winning 5,480 votes (compared to 11,395 last time around).

Andrew Jones was re-elected to his House of Commons role despite a strong challenge from the Liberal Democrat candidate Judith Rogerson which saw his majority halved.

Mr Sewards admitted that he had found much more hostility on the doorstep towards Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn this time, which had made a difference.

Corbyn has come in for some serious criticism from his MPs on what was a disastrous evening for the party. He, himself, announced that he would not stand as leader for another General Election, effectively standing down.

He said: "It has been a dire night for Labour. We need to reflect not just on what happened with voters but on our own failings.

"It has been a real pleasure to be allowed to stand again. The country does still need to change for the better and it will be all to play for in five years time.

"We will and must find a way to win again."

Before the result was announced, Yorkshire Party candidate Kieron George had been saying quietly, as a new party, he would be happy with 1,000 votes but that anything above 2,000 would be a serious achievement.

In the event, he won 1,208 votes in his first attempt as a candidate in Harrogate and Knaresborough.

He said: "I am pleased with the result. I found little hostility to the Yorkshire Party's message when I knocked on doors.

"The result is an excellent foothold for the party for the future. "