LABOUR held on to Stockton North last night but Alex Cunningham saw his majority slashed to just over 1,000, making the former safe seat a marginal.

Mr Cunningham polled 17,728 votes, while Conservative Steven Jackson came perilously close with 16,701.

Martin Walker of The Brexit Party, picked up 3,907 votes in a constituency which voted 66 per cent in favour of Leave in the EU Referendum.

Aidan King, of the Liberal Democrats, polled 1,631 while Mark Burdon, of The North East Party, came last with 1,189 votes.

The race to the seat had looked neck and neck between Mr Cunningham and Mr Jackson at times, even though Mr Cunningham had appeared confident of winning.

Mr Cunningham told The Northern Echo there were a number of reasons why his majority was greatly reduced. "I don't think it has anything to do with me personally," he said. "I think there were national issues, issues around our leader that actually affected it, but above all, it was probably the Brexit factor that reduced that majority for me tonight.

"The people in my area voted by two thirds to leave the EU. They disagreed with me. I still believe that we need to move forward and get the right deal. The deal being offered by Boris Johnson and likely to be put to the House of Commons now is not that deal, and that really worries me.

"People have accused me of voting against Brexit. I voted for Article 50, I said I wanted a deal that actually works for people, for investment, for all manner of things. "That deal isn't available to us at the moment so that really worries me."

On stage, Mr Cunningham said: "My victory is bittersweet. Now I fear for my country. I fear for the poor, those who have to depend on foodbanks. The working poor, who are in work and still considered to be poor. I will dedicate myself to those people of Stockton North, not just the poor, but for those who voted, or didn't vote, I will be their voice again."