ONE of the North-East's two new Brexit Party MEPs has defended having a home in France after a Labour MEP accused him of 'hypocrisy'.

After being the only Labour MEP to be reelected in the North-East, Jude Kirton-Darling said Brian Monteith, who is Scottish and lives in France, 'cares not for this region'.

She added: “I think it’s the height of hypocrisy that somebody who’s standing on a platform to remove free movement from the young people of this area … actually benefits himself from free movement by living in France."

The Brexit Party received double the number of votes than the Labour Party in the North-East, with Mr Monteith and John Tennant elected as Brexit MEPs, alongside Ms Kirton-Darling as a Labour MEP.

But speaking to The Northern Echo, Mr Monteith said Labour were 'such sore losers'.

He said the North-East and Scotland 'go together like strawberries and cream', and he was very familiar with the area.

He said he rents the French house and uses it as a bolthole when he is not travelling around the world for work.

His Twitter account lists him as being in Hartlepool but he said this was an automated location put on the account by Twitter, and not by himself.

"My address has been in the public domain for weeks," he said. "They have only just decided to make an issue of it now, after I have beaten them in the election.

"Also the fact that I am Scottish does not mean I won't be a good MEP for the North-East."

The Conservatives and Labour suffered a major backlash from voters in the elections, with some Labour MPs turning on their own party and demanding a clear mandate on a people's vote.

In an extraordinary tirade, shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said Labour was suffering a “kicking” for not having a clear enough message on Brexit. In Remain areas, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party made significant gains, while Labour saw its vote share in the North-East drop from 35.5 per cent to 19.3 per cent on Sunday.

Other Labour MPs seemed to be applying the pressure on Jeremy Corbyn, with shadow transport secretary and Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald saying: "The stark reality staring us in the face is a No Deal exit which would be a complete and utter economic and social catastophe. We have to put it to a public vote."

Stockton South MP, Labour's Paul Williams, added: "On the doorstep the main reason previous Labour voters told me they weren’t going to vote for Labour was because we weren’t clear enough about opposing Brexit. They told me they would vote Lib Dem or Green."

He said he believed any Brexit deal now proposed by the new Prime Minister should be put to a public vote, with remaining in the EU also an option. ki

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP, Conservative Simon Clarke, said the lack of votes was all about 'trust', and that Sunday's vote was 'only the beginning of the storm if we don't deliver Brexit properly'.