Voters have elected a new Labour Party MP for the Sunderland Central constituency for the first time since 2010.

Lewis Atkinson was elected to serve the area in the July 4 General Election after winning the five-way contest with 16,852 votes, a majority of 6,073.

The constituency had been represented by the Labour Party’s Julie Elliott for more than a decade, but the MP recently announced plans to stand down at the 2024 General Election.

The result in Sunderland Central marks a strong victory for Lewis Atkinson, who has lived on Wearside and worked in the local NHS for almost two decades.

Results on the night saw the Labour candidate increase Julie Elliott’s 2019 majority, with a rise from 2,964 to 6,073.
Speaking after the results were announced at Silksworth Community Pool, Tennis & Wellness Centre, Lewis Atkinson thanked residents for putting their trust in him.

In a victory speech at the counting hall, he said it was the “honour of my life” to be elected to the constituency.
The new MP said: “I would thank my fellow candidates, in democracy, as in daily life, having a diversity of views and experiences is a healthy thing.

“Our city’s motto is ‘nil desperandum’, do not despair, but that has been severely tested by 14 years of Tory government which have made people and services in Sunderland poorer.

 “Many of the stories on the doorstep I have heard have been desperately sad, a pensioner who told me she skips a meal a day to make ends meet, a parent living with toothache because they no longer have an NHS dentist and they can’t afford to go private.

“Sunderland and Britain deserves so much better”.
The new MP said an incoming Labour government would deliver change and would be a government “in the service of working people that stands for economic stability and national security”.
He continued: “I know that having elected me, the people of Sunderland Central now expect me to work my socks off for them.

“That is what I will do as an active, visible, community MP.
“I will represent all of the people, whether you voted for me or not, I will represent each and every community.
“While the populist right may choose to stoke division and pretend there are simple solutions to complex problems, I’m proud that a changed Labour Party is focused on working together to rebuild our city and our country for all”.

Speaking after the result was announced, Lewis Atkinson praised the legacy of predecessor Julie Elliott and said he looked forward to “hitting the ground running” as an MP.
Commenting on Sunderland’s regeneration projects, including the Crown Works Studios and major schemes at Riverside Sunderland, the new MP said the city had “such a bright future”.
He added: “But we need a government that’s on Sunderland’s side and we haven’t had that for the last 14 years.

“We need economic stability so the private sector investment, and the potential that is there, can really be delivered.
“That doesn’t mean interest rates shooting up because of a failed reckless budget.
“It means a government that’s on the side of investment and economic growth, which I think is what we will get under a new Labour government”.

Lewis Atkinson added that the Conservative vote had “collapsed” in Sunderland, and that the majority of that vote had gone to Reform UK.
He added that the NHS issue which came up most during the Sunderland Central campaign was access to NHS dentistry, and that he would take up the issue as a priority along with a new Labour government.
The election result follows several weeks of intense campaigning in the North East with visits from national party figures, including Nigel Farage.

In the July 4 polls for Sunderland Central, Reform UK candidate Chris Eynon came in second place with 10,779 votes pushing Conservative candidate and former city councillor, Greg Peacock, into third place with 5,731 votes.

Liberal Democrat Niall Hodson, a serving city councillor, racked up 3,602 votes to place fourth.
Meanwhile, the Green Party’s Rachel Featherstone gained 2,993 votes.
Runner-up Chris Eynon described Reform UK’s result as “bittersweet” and said it was not the end for the party in Sunderland Central.

He added: “We’re very sad we fell short of victory this time but nonetheless 27% of the vote in my constituency was really amazing.
“If you look at the peak UKIP they got 19% and peak Brexit Party 11-12%, so we absolutely smashed the lights out.

“The strange thing of the night was the Labour vote was remarkably static and didn’t really move, they actually lost votes from last time (2019), we’re really quite happy.
“We’ve had quite strong local election results and I think a lot of the voters who have backed us in the last two elections locally have come out and turned out on the day.
“The Tories weren’t even close and it shows the fact that around here in the red wall we’re the new opposition to Labour without a doubt”.


Lewis Atkinson has been elected MP for Sunderland Central.Lewis Atkinson has been elected MP for Sunderland Central. (Image: NNP)

Again Reform UK swept into second place securing more than a quarter of the votes, with 10,779 ballots.

*This is a breaking news story and will continue to be updated*

Full results for Sunderland Central

LAB - Lewis Atkinson: 16,852
REF - Chris Eynon: 10,799
GRN - Rachel Featherstone: 2,993
LD - Niall Hodson: 3,602
CON - Greg Peacock: 5,731