UK Tories beat Labour in Copeland
Jeremy Corbyn has been forced to deny that he is “Theresa May’s best friend in politics” after refusing to step down following a humiliating by-election defeat in Copeland.
The Labour leader is facing calls to consider his position after Labour lost the seat by 2,000 votes.
Dave Prentis, general secretary of the Unison trade union, said that while the blame for a “disastrous” defeat did not lie solely with Mr Corbyn, he had to take responsibility for what happened next.
Trudy Harrison snatched the seat by 2,147 votes, making the Conservatives the first governing party to gain a seat in a by-election since 1982.
The dramatic loss of the constituency has led to warnings from Labour MPs that the party is heading towards a “historic and catastrophic defeat” in a future general election.