In the end, it wasn’t even close in Hartlepool. The Tories now have a majority of 6940 in a place that used to be the embodiment of what it was to be a solid Labour safe seat. The crushing defeat dished out by voters on Thursday is a disaster for Labour that completes the long, slow death of the New Labour modernisation project, a process that may yet kill the Union if Scottish voters conclude that England will never again vote in a non-Tory UK government, or at least not for the foreseeable future.
Badenoch bites back at hardline Brexiteers over Retained EU Law bill
The business secretary insisted she “wasn’t an arsonist” as she stood her ground at a blue-on-blue committee tiff.