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Lord Ben Houchen Open to Collaborating with Starmer as Tees Valley Swing Signals Potential Labour Victory in General Election



Lord Ben Houchen is 'definitely' ready to collaborate with Starmer should the Conservatives be defeated in the upcoming general election. In the Tees Valley election, the shift away from the Conservative Party exceeded the national shift required for a Labour victory in a general election. Lord Houchen secured 53.6% of the vote this time around, a decrease from his 72.8% in the 2021 elections.

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Friday, May 3, 2024, 3:

Lord Ben Houchen has expressed his willingness to collaborate with Sir Keir Starmer should he become the prime minister.

The mayor of Tees Valley secured re-election this year, though with a significantly smaller majority. Should the regional shift away from the Conservatives be mirrored in a national election, Labour would be poised to take control at Number 10.

Lord Houchen was elevated to the peerage by Boris Johnson and is regarded as a key figure representing the Conservative Party in the "Red Wall" areas.

Election outcomes: Labour secures victory in the Prime Minister's district

His lead diminished significantly from the prior election, securing 53.6% of the votes while Labour received 41.3%; previously in 2021, Mr. Houchen had achieved a commanding victory with 72.8% of the vote compared to Labour's 27.2%.

This shift, amounting to 16.7%, would result in Labour securing every parliamentary seat in the region.

In a conversation with Sophy Ridge, Lord Houchen was questioned about his openness to collaborate with a Labour prime minister.

Further Details on Conservatives

Conservatives face their most significant losses in local elections in recent years, with critical mayoral elections in London and the West Midlands yet to occur.

Post-Election Analysis: Implications for the Upcoming National Vote

Sky News forecast: Labour likely to emerge as biggest party but without a clear majority.

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He stated: "Definitely.

Keir Starmer has announced his intention to significantly enhance devolution, marking a complete reversal from the 2019 stance, where there was discussion about eliminating mayoral positions.

"Keir Starmer has announced plans to provide us with additional funding and enhanced powers, which will grant me greater independence to excel in my role, primarily focusing on serving the local community."

Joint Historical Endeavor

Lord Houchen emphasized his track record of collaboration with Labour-controlled councils in his area.

The mayor dismissed claims that he had detached his campaign from the national Conservative identity.

Discover further: Starmer demands Sunak confront the country. Understanding the local elections through maps and graphics. Not even under Blair did Labour deal such a stunning setback.

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Sophy inquired why the mayor didn't wear a blue rosette while celebrating his win.

No blue ribbon

Lord Houchen stated, "The truthful response is that I didn't possess one, and it slipped my mind.

"I'm wearing my blue socks and my blue tie, and we had Rishi join us during the campaign.

"Well, the notion that we're attempting to disguise the fact that I'm a Conservative is simply not credible – it's well-known in these parts that I am one."

"Fortunately, today's events have demonstrated that they recognize my commitment to Teesside. They understand that my priority is to put Teesside and its residents first, and to act in the best interests of our community."

Sunak remains res

After the win, the prime minister made a trip to Teesside Airport, a symbol of Lord Houchen's tenure following its nationalization. He stated that despite multiple visits from Sir Keir and shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves, Labour was unable to unseat the mayor, even with considerable efforts and criticism directed at him.

Rishi Sunak also stated, "I want to send a clear message to the Labour Party: they understand that winning here is essential for their general election victory—they are aware of that."

"They thought Tees Valley would easily return to their fold. However, it did not."

In the Tees election, Labour secured a 16.7% swing, surpassing the national requirement of a 12.7% swing needed to claim victory in a general election.

Stay updated on the most recent developments from the UK and globally by tuning into Sky News.

Labour's shadow health secretary, Wes Streeting, conveyed to Sky News that Lord Houchen conducted "a very powerful campaign as an incumbent, presenting almost as an independent, with hardly any visible Conservative branding associated with his campaign."

He stated that although voters were supporting Lord Houchen in the mayoral race, they planned to vote for the Labour Party in the upcoming general election.

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