Heartache over Hartlepool: Is election defeat Labour's rock bottom?

How did Labour lose Hartlepool? ITV News Political Correspondent Libby Wiener reports

It’s a town that hasn’t voted Tory for nearly 60 years, so how could Labour lose Hartlepool?From talking to voters here, two reasons stand out: Brexit and Boris.Labour was punished for thinking the divisions over leaving the EU had healed.

They hadn’t and in choosing Dr Paul Williams, who backed Remain, they were perceived to be ignoring the views of the majority.Boris Johnson is seen as the man who delivered Brexit and his candidate Jill Mortimer trounced her opponent.

Hartlepool was a Labour stronghold for six decades. Credit: PA

He may be a Conservative Prime Minister but his personality and charisma also strike a chord here.

Many say simply they like him and, despite the rows over sleaze at Westminster, they say they trust him to deliver on his promises.Talk of the new Free Port and other investment has gone down well, so too has the Government’s handling of the pandemic.

A nurse working on the frontline told me the Prime Minister gave them all they wanted.This was once a New Labour stronghold but in the era of Ed Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn, the party’s decline has been steep.

The question for Labour now - has it hit rock bottom or has it got further to fall?