Reform UK made an impact on voters in the North East after landing 18 second-place finishes in constituencies across the region. 

The political party, which is fronted by Nigel Farage, made gains across the UK - but saw a large vote count in the North East, seeing them make distance on the Conservative Party and a short impact on Labour votes. 

While Labour won the large majority of the seats in the North East, Reform candidates divided the vote - seeing a strong showing in North Durham, Blaydon and Consett, and Easington. 

This came as Reform UK won four parliamentary seats, including Nigel Farage, who won a UK parliamentary seat at his eighth attempt.

The party leader was declared MP for Clacton shortly after Lee Anderson became Reform’s first MP of the night.

Reform’s party chairman Richard Tice won Boston and Skegness, beating the Conservatives to secure his party’s fourth seat of the night.

Earlier, businessman and former Southampton FC chairman Rupert Lowe, won Great Yarmouth, also from the Tories.

Lee Anderson, who before this election was the party’s only MP after he defected from the Conservatives, won his seat in Ashfield.

Mr Farage said in a speech at the election count: “It’s not just disappointment with the Conservative party, there is a massive gap on the centre-right of British politics and my job is to fill it,”

He told reporters Reform will be a “non-racist, non-sectarian” party and this election is the “beginning of the end” for the Tory party.

“This is just the first step, I set out with a goal to win millions of votes, to get a bridgehead in Parliament and that’s what we’ve done so I’m very pleased,” he added.

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He said the Reform party would move forward “very rapidly”.

He said: “I’ve got to professionalise it, I’ve got to democratise it, I’ve got to get rid of a few idiots that found it too easy to get on board. They will all go, they will all go, this will be a non-racist, non-sectarian party. Absolutely and I give my word on that.”

While Reform UK was formed in 2018, Mr Farage has sought to become an MP multiple times without success. He was a member of the European Parliament for 20 years, during which time he campaigned fiercely for the UK to leave the EU.