LABOUR and Ukip claimed North-East seats in the European Parliamentary elections at the expense of a leading Tory MP and the the Liberal Democrats, who came fourth.

Labour polled 221,988 and took two of the available three seats, while Ukip won 177,660 votes, outstripping the Tories who came in third with 107,733.

The Liberal Democrats scored 36,093, while the Greens ran them close with 31,605.

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The result meant Tory Martin Callanan, who was chairman of the European Conservatives and Reformists group, lost his seat and the Lib Dems failed to retain the seat they won in 2009.

Newly-elected MEP Jude Kirton-Darling said: “Its resounding vote for Labour from the North-East.

“It’s many years since Labour have conclusively won the European election in the region.

“The people of the region have put their trust in us and we will do our very best to return that.”

She added: “Ukip’s gain was inevitable with the amount of coverage they have had and with the collapse of the Tory-LibDem coalition vote. You have to remember that last time Ukip only just missed out on a North-East seat.

“The important thing is we have got two seats and we have knocked out the leader of the Tories - an extremely corrosive politician who was upset a lot of people”

Her new colleague Paul Brannen claimed it was a "major victory for Labour".

He said: “Labour will listen to those who felt unable to vote for them in this election and listen to their concerns.

"Ultimately, we will only be able to address those if we go on and win the General Election a year from now.

"This result puts us on target to do that."

Ukip's winning candidate Jonathan Arnott said: "Nigel Farage promised a political earthquake.

“We have caused that tonight. It’s time now to go to Brussels and to work together with any moderate like-minded politicians and let us create shock waves there too.”

He added: “It shows is that Ukip are now clearly the main challengers to Labour across the North-East.

“The region has been rock solid for decades. It is a region where Ukip finished fourth in 2009."

Mr Callanan said: “In democratic politics you are in to win it and if you don’t win it’s disappointing.

“The North-East has always been a Labour stronghold – 25 out of 29 of the parliamentary constituencies are held by the Labour party. Even after their second worst result in 2010, so I managed to cling on in the region three times. Unfortunately a fourth was too much.

“Ukip have got a lot of votes in the region this time. We have to take on board the concerns of people who voted for them."

NORTH-EAST RESULTS: An Independence From Europe 13,934; BNP 10,360; Conservative Party 107,733; English Democrats 9,279; Green Party 31,605; Labour Party 221,988; Liberal Democrats 36,093; Ukip 177,660.