Former Tory MPs who hoped to return to their old jobs today are instead finding themselves without a job.

A host of politicians who, until six weeks ago were serving MPs, hoped to secure re-election and return to the Commons have instead lost their jobs.

It comes as the Conservatives faced a bloodbath in the region with Labour picking up former Red Wall seats they lost in 2019 and winning in seats they had never won before.

These are the seven North East MPs who lost their jobs overnight.

Peter Gibson – Darlington

Peter Gibson was one of the class of 2019 Tories who toppled the Red Wall when he was elected MP for Darlington.

Mr Gibson was beaten by Labour’s Lola McEvoy who secured 16,621 votes compared to his 14,323.

Speaking after his loss he said he leaves office with his “head held high”.

Peter Gibson.Peter Gibson. (Image: CHRIS BOOTH)

He told the Echo: “I feel very sad to have not won - naturally, I'm losing my job, and my team will be losing their jobs as a result of tonight's decision.

"I have done my best to serve this town to the very best of my ability. I think we have made some transformational investments and decisions that will stay with Darlington long into the future.

"I leave with my head held high knowing that I have done a good job. I know from the conversations I have had that I have secured jobs, and long-term careers here in Darlington.”

Ian Levy – Cramlington and Killingworth

No one thought Ian Levy would win Blyth Valley for the Conservatives in 2019, but it was that first result of the night on December 12 that year which set off the Tory tsunami which destroyed the Red Wall.

Mr Levy decided to stand in Cramlington and Killingworth after his Blyth Valley constituency was split in two when new boundaries were introduced.

Ian Levy on a campaign walkabout with Rishi Sunak and his wife Maureen last month.Ian Levy on a campaign walkabout with Rishi Sunak and his wife Maureen last month. (Image: PA)

His wife, Maureen was to stand in the new Blyth and Ashington seat against long-time Labour MP Ian Lavery, but neither secured election.

Ian Levy was beaten by Labour’s Emma Foody in Cramlington and Killingworth (22,274) and Reform UK candidate Gordon Fletcher (9,454) with just 8,592 votes.

Jill Mortimer – Hartlepool

When Jill Mortimer won a by-election in Hartlepool in 2021, she firmed up the idea Boris Johnson’s Blue Wall was not just a 2019 blip.

It was a result that Sir Keir Starmer later admitted made him consider his position as Labour Leader as the Leave-supporting constituency went blue for the first time in its 47-year-old history.

Jill Mortimer after her 2021 by-election win.Jill Mortimer after her 2021 by-election win. (Image: PA)

But Mortimer was unable to replicate her success of 2019 on Thursday with Labour’s Jonathan Brash winning 16,414 votes. She, meanwhile, secured just 7,767 votes, being pushed into third place by Reform’s Amanda Napper who claimed 8,716.

She said after her loss that it had been “the absolutely privilege and honour” of her life as Hartlepool MP and she is “not going anywhere”.

“I love Hartlepool now, I’m part of its history, I was the first female MP here and hopefully that will show people that there is a way forward,” she said.

“Hartlepool is a wonderful, wonderful place and I hope that I’ve done a little bit to let the people in the outside world know that.”

Guy Opperman – Hexham

When Guy Opperman was first elected MP for Hexham in 2010, he probably thought he had a pretty secure job for life.

The seat had not returned a Labour MP in 100 years, and even in 1997 when Tony Blair swept to power the Tories held Hexham by 222 seats.

Guy Opperman.Guy Opperman.

But in the early hours of Friday that changed when Labour’s Joe Morris beat Mr Opperman by 2,713 votes. Joe Morris secured 22,988 votes while Guy Opperman won just 20,275.

Mr Opperman said: “Clearly the national picture has not helped. It is very difficult.

“I congratulate my successor – he has got the greatest job in the world in the best constituency in the world.

“Representing the Hexham constituency every single day is the proudest moment.”

Simon Clarke – Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland

Former cabinet minister Sir Simon Clarke was once a key figure in Boris Johnson’s government who looked destined to rise to the very top of the Conservative Party.

His majority of  11,626 was going to be a struggle for Labour to overturn but they managed to do just that as Luke Myer beat Sir Simon by 214 votes.

Sir Simon Clarke.Sir Simon Clarke. (Image: PA)

 Sir Simon accepted defeat with grace as he spoke of his pride in representing the constituency where he grew up.

He said: “This is the best job in the world and there is no greater privilege than to serve your home constituency.

“I want to say thank you to my volunteers who have been out with me in all weathers. Our democracy is all the better for all of us who fight for the causes we believe in and go out there every day to make the case for those values.

“I salute those, not just of my party but all parties, who care about our country to exactly that.”

Paul Howell – Newton Aycliffe and Spennymoor

Paul Howell was elected MP for Sedgefield in 2019.

On the day Boris Johnson became PM he was quick to rush to greet Howell, who had turned former Labour PM Tony Blair’s old seat blue.

The Sedgefield seat was morphed into the new Newton Aycliffe and Spennymoor seat under boundary changes, with Labour’s Alan Strickland hoping to beat Mr Howell and win back Blair’s old backyard.

Paul Howell.Paul Howell. (Image: STUART BOULTON)

After totally flipping the vote in 2019, it was time for the Tories to have the vote flipped on them in the early hours of Friday with Howell being pushed into third place behind Reform UK.

Speaking after the result he said: “I came in in 2019 on a high blue tide and I’m going out on a low blue tide.

“Of all the people you meet the most important are the constituents. From Trimdon to Ferryhill to Chilton to Aycliffe to Sedgefield and the many villages in between. You are fantastic constituents and I have really enjoyed my time serving you.”

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Jacob Young – Redcar

A levelling up minister, Jacob Young was considered another possible rising star of the Tory party after his 2019 election.

It was the very woman he defeated five years ago, Labour’s Anna Turley, who was to be his competitor again in a Redcar rematch.

Jacob Young.Jacob Young. (Image: LDRS)

Young secured just 12,340 votes, behind Turley’s 15,663.

The former chemical industry worker and Middlesbrough Councillor said he wished his successor “all the very best” and added it had been the “honour of his life” to serve residents of Redcar.

He said: “Over the last few years together we have faced the challenges of a pandemic, a sharp rise in energy prices, war in Eastern Europe and in the Middle East.”

Anne-Marie Trevelyan – North Northumberland

Anne-Marie Trevelyan was MP for the former Berwick constituency, now North Northumberland following boundary changes.

She served as Secretary of State for Transport under Boris Johnson’s government and, like Guy Opperman, probably thought she had a job for life as a Tory in a seat which had never elected a Labour MP.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan.Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

But, despite having a majority of 14,835 in 2019, Trevelyan failed to even win that many votes on Thursday and Labour’s David Smith established himself a majority of more than 5,000.

Speaking after the result she said: “I think it’s frustrating to see very low turnout. There is no love for Keir Starmer at all.

“The Reform surge that we have seen across the North East is one we all need to understand and find solutions for. These things are not easy to solve, but we were solving it.

“The voters have contributed to a large Labour majority, which is less likely to give them what they want. My concern is Labour will ignore those Reform voters.

Former Bishop Auckland MP Dehenna Davison decided to stand down at the election, while former North West Durham MP Richard Holden has been elected in Basildon.