Keir Starmer says Labor is winning ‘North and South’ after victories at City Hall

In Barnet, the Labor leader said his party had “taken a tremendous turn” after taking key Tory strongholds in London and winning victories in Cumberland and Southampton

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Local elections: Starmer speaks to supporters in Barnet

Keir Starmer has said the Labor Party is “back on track” to win an election after capturing key Tory strongholds in London and modest gains across England in last night’s local elections.

The Labor leader was in Barnet, which Labor had snatched from the Tories in London alongside Westminster and Wandsworth.

But he also hailed victories in Cumberland and Southampton as evidence the party was winning “North and South” and rebounding from “the lows of 2019” when Jeremy Corbyn led Labor to a historic defeat.

He said: “We have taken a tremendous turn here in the Labor Party. We’re winning in London, we’re winning north and south – we’ve won at Cumberland, we’ve won at Southampton, we’ve got more results to come.

He continued: “This is a big turning point for us. Getting back on track and winning in the North from the depths of 2019 in this general election. Cumberland! Southampton! We switched Labor and now we are seeing the results of that.”

He added: “What brilliant teams we have, all the fantastic work we’ve put in.

“When it comes to London, you’ll find it hard to believe we’re saying those names. Wandsworth. They’ve been saying for years, ‘You’ll never take Wandsworth from us.’ We just made it! Westminster! This is an amazing result.”

Mr Starmer went on to say that Labor’s win from Conservatives had “sent a message” to Boris Johnson.

“We sent a message to the Prime Minister: Britain deserves better,” he said.

Meanwhile, Conservative Party leader Oliver Dowden downplayed Tory losses and Labor gains, pointing to a lack of progress in key lead areas of Nuneaton and Thurrock.

He told BBC Breakfast: “Obviously we’ve had some difficult results and you can see that in London.

“However, I would say we’re medium term and it’s quite a mixed picture because if you look elsewhere, whether it’s Hartlepool or Nuneaton and Thurrock, we’ve actually made gains and I think if you look at the bigger picture, it really doesn’t show Labor has the momentum to form the next government.”

He also said, “That’s not what Tony Blair got, say, 1995, two years before he won the election, they made 1,800 wins. If you look at Ed Miliband (he) managed to hit 800 wins in 2011 and still not win the election.

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