Labour has started the night as it means to continue with its first MP of the new Parliament in Blyth and Ashington.

Ian Lavery has won the contest in the new seat with 20,030 votes - a majority over Tory rival Maureen Levy of 9,173.

She secured just 6,121 votes, with Reform clinching almost 11,000.

Blyth was the first metaphorical brick of Labour's Red Wall to fall to the Tories in 2019 when Ian Levy was elected MP for Blyth Valley.

It sent shockwaves across the region and signposted what was to come on that cold December night as the Tories took swathes of previously Labour-held seats.

Due to boundary changes, Blyth has joined with Ashington where Ian Lavery has been Labour MP since 2010. The other half of the former Blyth Valley constituency included Cramlington, which has joined with Killingworth to form a new constituency.

Mr Levy decided to stand in Cramlington and Killingworth, with his wife Maureen Levy standing against Ian Lavery in Blyth and Ashington.

However, the newly elected Ashington and Blyth Labour MP has already been challenged to bring in hundreds of millions of investment into the area – or step down.

Northumberland’s first seat to declare saw Labour’s Ian Lavery elected as the first MP for the newly redrawn constituency with a comfortable majority of more than 9,000.

It was also a successful night for Reform UK, with candidate Mark Peart pushing the Conservative’s Maureen Levy into third place. The Greens received 1,960 votes, defeating the Liberal Democrats on 1,433.

In a lengthy speech, Mr Lavery said he was “absolutely chuffed” with his victory – and took aim at the previous Conservative Government. He said: “If the exit poll is correct, the Labour Government will inherit a mess after 14 years of destruction.

“The NHS is on its knees, you can’t get a dentist, a GP appointment or an ambulance. We will put that right.”

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, he added: “I’m delighted with the resounding result. I know the challenges people face. The Tory slogan of ‘levelling up’ in reality never happened.

“A new Government does mean change. Labour will make change from the first morning they are in power.

“We are aware it is not just the people with the lowest incomes that are suffering, but everyone. We need to fix child poverty, fuel poverty, and pension poverty.”

Within minutes of his election, Mr Lavery was already facing challenges from the Tories.

“Ian Levy, who served as Blyth Valley MP and is the Tory candidate for Cramlington and Killingworth, said: “In the time I was MP for Blyth Valley I brought in around £400 million.

“Ian Lavery has made some big promises. He has got to beat that, put his money where his mouth is – if he can’t do that, he should step down.”

Mr Levy’s wife, Maureen, added she was “disappointed” with the result. She added: “It is what it is. It was a very quick campaign.

“It’s no real surprise. I didn’t have the time to run a proper campaign.”

Ashington and Blyth also saw a strong performance for Reform, with candidate Mark Peart receiving 10,857 votes,

He said: “It’s a very impressive result. At the next election, we will see what happens.

“It was a strong vote for Reform in the areas that we have campaigned hard on. The Tories have completely tanked.

“That’s not on the individual candidate, it’s more of a national issue – but it’s completely changing.

“It’s the first time we have stood in a General Election like this. It will be interesting to see what the future holds.”

Full results for Blyth and Ashington

LAB - Ian Lavery: 20,030
CON - Maureen Levy: 6,121
GRN - Steve Leyland: 1,960
REF - Mark Peart: 10,857
LD - Stephen Psallidas: 1,433