Labour faces awkward by-election in ‘red wall’ seat after MP quits


Mike Hill has been MP for the North-East town since 2017, and may have owed his victory in 2019 to the right-of-centre vote being split between Conservatives and the Brexit Party.

He is facing an employment tribunal case over allegations – which he denies – of sexual assault against a former member of staff. He was suspended from the Labour Party in 2019 when the allegations first came to light, and it is understood that a parliamentary investigation is ongoing.

No date is yet fixed for the by-election, but it is almost certain to be held on 6 May, when ballots are being held for the Scottish and Welsh parliaments and councils and mayors across England.

Labour has already expressed fears that a “vaccine boost” will help Boris Johnson make advances on the night.


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