THE Stockton South constituency saw a swing of more than five per cent to Labour in one of the shock results of the night.

Junior minister James Wharton lost the seat he held just two years ago with a healthy majority of over 5,000, to local GP Dr Paul Williams, of the Labour Party.

The former Northern Powerhouse Minister, who faced heavy criticism for his perceived lack of action over the steelworks closure in 2015, asked for a recount at Thornaby Pavilion early thismorning, despite Dr Williams' majority being almost 1,000.

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The Northern Echo:

Dr Paul Williams, the new Labour MP for Stockton South

The seat saw a particularly high turnout of 70.3 per cent, which may in part have swung votes towards Labour. Green Party candidate Jo Fitzgerald this week urged her supporters to back Labour in a bid to unseat Mr Wharton.

Dr Williams is a GP who led a cooperative of medical practices to provide out of hours services in the Stockton and Hartlepool areas. He has also worked with HIV victims in Uganda as well as helping refugees in this country.

He said: "We sat down just five weeks ago and we thought we would run as visible a campaign as possible.

"I am new to politics, but I want to keep my integrity, I want to work hard and I want to be positive.

"The message I have heard most is about Labour's commitment to education and to not cutting primary and secondary school funding."

The Northern Echo:

After his defeat, Mr Wharton refused to speak to The Northern Echo but told another newspaper: "Stockton South, I have no doubt, will elect a Conservative once again.

"We live in a time politically where we have seen a Labour party that has promised everyone everything, and they think someone else will pay for it. I do worry that this is a crucial time for our country because we are negotiating Brexit."

In his losing speech, he said to Dr Williams: "I hope you enjoy your time as MP for Stockton South, however long or short it may be, and I hope you can live up to the expectations the people of Stockton South will undoubtedly place on you."

He said it had bene a "privilege" to represent his home town, and added: "We will elect a Conservative again, I hope it will sooner rather than later, but whenever it is, I wish him (Dr Williams) all the best."

Mr Wharton was just 26 when he clinched the seat with a majority of just 300 in 2010, and was given his first ministerial appointment after the 2015 election.

Before the steelworks' closure the eurosceptic MP was seen as a potential rising star in the party and was sponsor of the first EU Referendum private members bill in the Commons in 2013.