Copeland: Nia Griffith fails to support Corbyn in interview

Labour's Gareth Snell secured 7,853 votes to become the new member of Parliament, beating UKIP candidate Paul Nuttall's 5,233 votes.

Labour's defeat to Theresa May's Conservatives in the Copeland by-election - the first time a governing party has made a by-election gain since 1982 - is a bitter blow for the Labour leader, which will renew questions about his leadership.

Corbyn refused to resign, saying he was not to blame for the defeat in Copeland.

Labour lost the Copeland by-election to the Conservatives after hold the seat and its predecessors since the 1930s.

With pressure mounting on Friday, one of Mr Corbyn's key union backers, Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, demanded the leader "take responsibility" for what happens next.

While Labour won Thursday's Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election, its share of the vote fell by more than two per cent.

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The Prime Minister hailed the victory as proof that her Government "delivers for everyone across the whole country".

They were Ukip's Fiona Mills, the Liberal Democrats' Rebecca Hanson, the Green Party's Jack Lenox and independents Michael Guest and Roy Ivinson.

We have a real problem in the North and the Midlands because of the rise of Ukip, and I don't think it's really do to with Ukip.

She added: "We've got to reflect on this". 'The big cities like Manchester and Liverpool feel very optimistic, ' she says.

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While May will be happy to take credit for the success, the winning candidate, Trudy Harrison, attributed it to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. He told supporters that despite the upset in Copeland, northern England, he still backed Britain leaving the EU.

She replied: "Absolutely, because if we keep talking about the leadership it's great for you guys but it's really bad for the party and it's worst still for the country".

Labour earlier in the night held the district of Stoke-on-Trent Central, seeing off a challenge from the U.K. Independence Party, which fielded its new leader, Paul Nuttall.

But the seat has been held by Labour since it was created in 1950 and the party secured a 5,179 majority in 2015.

Backbench Labour MPs David Winnick and John Woodcock have both sharply criticized Corbyn for the party's performance, and suggested Labour is heading for a "catastrophic" general election defeat come 2020.

"This isn't a decline that's happened under Jeremy".

Labour went into the year promising that they would not make it three leadership contests in three years, but even Jeremy Corbyn must see now that the left is in serious danger of fragmenting.

In a speech to Conservative councillors today, Mrs May said: "Let us not be in any doubt about what these results represent".

Mr McDonnell, meanwhile, hit out at Tony Blair and Lord Mandelson for high-profile interventions that he argued had served to divide the party just days before the polls opened in Copeland and Stoke.

"We agree with Corbyn on a lot of priorities: We have the moral obligation to stand against any plan to detach the United Kingdom completely from Europe".

  • Myrtle Hill