Labour chief whip holds Tynemouth and "plead guilty" to making party electable again

Sir Alan Campbell MP, delivering his vcitory speech at Parks Sports Centre, North Shields.
-Credit: (Image: ChronicleLive)

Labour's Sir Alan Campbell has been returned to Westminster to represent the parliamentary constituency of Tynemouth, amassing a total of 24,491 votes.

Sir Alan has represented the seat since 1997 and became Labour's chief whip in May 2021. As chief whip it is expected he will play an important role in Keir Starmer's government if Labour achieve their predicted majority and take the reigns of power.

In his victory speech, Sir Alan said: "I would like to thank my opponents, it's never an easy thing to be a candidate in any election. They were never short of offering advice to voters including the accusation that I worked with my party leader Keir Starmer to change my party.

"I plead guilty to that charge because once again the Labour Party stands in the service of the people of Britain. We are once again electable and once again we are winning right across the country."

Sir Alan's Conservative rival, Tynemouth councillor Lewis Bartoli, came second, with a total of 9,036 votes. In this instance, the Tory Party has seemingly bucked the trend and retained second place while a Reform candidate was in play.

However, Coun Bartoli did ruffle political feathers without even being present at the count. Coun Bartoli could not attend as, according to his election agent and fellow Tory councillor Liam Bones, he was on a family holiday that could not have been moved, despite efforts to do so.

Mr Bartoli's absence provoked a strong response, with Labour councillor Joe Kirwin branding it "disgraceful" and newly elected MP Sir Alan describing it as "disappointing" and "discourteous".

Following the result, Coun Bones said: "On what should have been a huge night for Labour here in Tynemouth Sir Alan Campbell got fewer votes today than he did in 2019. We're pleased to have seen off a strong challenge from Reform and we will continue as councillors and a local party to stand up for residents and hold this new Labour Government to account".

Reform's Rosalyn Elliott, who came in third with 7, 382 votes, said: "Nationally, we have definitely sent out a lasting message to people. Reform is the opposition party and although we may not have enough seats because of the way it is done, maybe that could be the next campaign".

Tynemouth saw a 66.39% turnout on the night, with 48,590 ballots returned out of 73,194 issued.