LABOUR’S Phil Wilson blamed the failures of his own party after losing his seat in Parliament.

The new MP for Sedgefield, a seat which had been held by Labour since 1935, is Conservative Paul Howell with a majority of more than 4,500.

Following his victory, Mr Howell, who is a member for Durham County Council, representing Aycliffe North and Middridge, said: “Thank you to everybody who voted for me. As a boy from Ferryhill I’m so proud and delighted to be here.

The Northern Echo:

The new MP for Sedgefield Paul Howell

“I’m looking forward to being a voice for each and every constituent and representing them.

“Happy Christmas and Happy New Year.”

Mr Wilson, who had held the seat since Tony Blair stepped down in 2007, said: “The only way the Labour party will return to power in my view is if we rebalance what a lot of people have lost - that strong sense of patriotism.

"The first thing of any government is to defend the country and it's people. We need to regain that sense of economic responsibility, that we are aspirational as a core belief and we believe in well funded public services."

He added: "I stand by my belief that people should have a final say on Brexit as the Prime Minister is the same person who led the campaign three and a half years ago and people have the right to compare his deal with what he promised.

“There’s a lesson for Labour. If we have one person on the doorstep talking about Brexit for every five people talking about the leader and they are telling you the reason they are not voting for you then things have got to change.”

He added: “Labour have a long way to come back. That journey will start but it’s a long way to travel. I want to see a Labour government again with the policies that got us elected in 1997.”

Earlier in the evening, Mr Wilson said Mr Corbyn should have a “long hard look at himself". He added: "Not just himself, but what he's let happen to the Labour party.

"I feel angry and disappointed in myself as well that we haven't been able to sort it out ourselves. I think he's got to take stock and take a step back. They've got to think about their position in the Labour party. It's the 'ism' in Corbynism we have to get away from."

Mr Wilson had been defending a majority of just over 6,000 in a seat Tony Blair once won by more than 25,000 votes. 

Green party candidate John Furness, who picked up 994 votes, urged parties to work together to tackle environmental problems. He said: “We are all going to have to work together. The message has come across that Brexit needs to be done. I get that message. But we all have a much bigger problem; Climate, climate climate.”

Brexit party candidate David Bull came third with 3,518 votes.

He said: “The Brexit party is here to stay. We are delighted with what we have done. It really is now time to leave.”

Liberal Democrat Dawn Welsh got 1,955 votes while independent candidate Michael Joyce came in sixth with 394 votes.

The turnout was 64.77 per cent, with a total of 41,664 votes cast.