Sir Keir Starmer hails Labour's 'historic' North Yorkshire mayoral victory

The Labour leader joined Rachel Reeves in Northallerton to celebrate David Skaith's win "in the heart of Tory territory" in North Yorkshire. Credit: PA

Sir Keir Starmer has hailed a win "in the heart of Tory territory" after Labour won the York & North Yorkshire mayoral race.

The Labour leader said David Skaith's victory in the York and North Yorkshire mayoral - which includes the Prime Minister's constituency of Richmond - was a "special moment" for the party.

Mr Skaith secured about a third of the vote and a majority of nearly 15,000 over his Tory rival in what is historically a Conservative stronghold.

Speaking alongside the newly elected mayor at Northallerton Town Football Club, Sir Keir said: “It’s an amazing moment in history, to have a Labour victory here.

“We have had really good results across the country all day long, but this is a very, very special moment, David, to become the mayor here.

"Through the villages and the towns of North Yorkshire, people are voting for change. They voted for Labour, a changed Labour Party able to earn the trust and the respect of voters in York and North Yorkshire.”

David Skaith was elected York and North Yorkshire Mayor on Friday, beating Conservative candidate Keane Duncan. Credit: PA

Sir Keir described the victory as “vindication” for his party, saying it showed that “people are fed up with a failed government”.

“This is a historic victory, the villages and towns of North Yorkshire – this is the heart of Tory territory,” he said.

The new Labour mayor is a small business owner and chairman of York High Street Forum, according to his campaign website.

In his victory speech, he said: “I think the message is clear from York and North Yorkshire and across the country that we want change.”

“I believe with the Labour Party, and under Keir Starmer, we have the potential for this and I hope this continues, and thank you everyone for your support.”

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