Election results – live: Boris Johnson rejects Scotland referendum as Starmer faces ‘hat trick’ of defeats

Sturgeon says SNP majority ‘has always been a very, very long shot’

Boris Johnson has rejected a second referendum on Scottish independence as “reckless and irresponsible,” as the first set of election results in Scotland leave a SNP majority on a knife edge.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said she will push indyref2 “when the time is right”. The first minister also said she would introduce legislation for a referendum – claiming Mr Johnson “would have to go to court” to block another vote.

It comes as Sir Keir Starmer is to embark on a major shake-up of Labour’s top team after devastating election results, including the loss of Hartlepool to the Tories for the first time in more than 60 years.

The Tories are also confident of a “hat trick” of big victories over Labour by winning the West Midlands mayoral contest. Labour said it was “too early” to say if London mayor Sadiq Khan has been re-elected.


Starmer will ‘accelerate’ changes, says frontbencher

Labour’s Nick Thomas-Symonds said there would be a policy review in a bid to reconnect with voters following the party’s disastrous Super Thursday election performance.

The shadow home secretary people in the party’s traditional heartlands “do not now see Labour as answering” their concerns. “That’s now what we have to reflect on and why we have to change.”

He told BBC Breakfast: “Keir (Starmer) has started that process of change over the past 12 months … now it is a question of moving on, having that review of our policies.”

Thomas-Symonds also told Sky News that Starmer would “accelerate” changes. The shadow minister defended Labour’s criticisms of “sleaze” in government and said the party “absolutely have to hold the Conservatives to account”.

Adam Forrest8 May 2021 08:56


At a glance: key results so far

Results will continue to come in on Saturday following Super Thursday’s elections. Here are some of the main results so far:

– The Tories won the Hartlepool by-election, with Jill Mortimer seizing the seat from Labour with a majority of almost 7,000.

– In Scotland, the SNP gained three seats – East Lothian from Labour, and Ayr and Edinburgh Central from the Tories. But the prospect of an outright majority remains on a knife edge.

– In Wales, Labour will hold onto power in the Senedd. After 52 of 60 seats were declared, Labour had 30, the Conservatives had 12, Plaid Cymru had nine and the Lib Dems had one.

– Tory Ben Houchen was re-elected as Tees Valley mayor by a landslide on the first count, taking almost 73 per cent of the vote.

<p>Counting continues in Scotland this morning</p>

Counting continues in Scotland this morning


Adam Forrest8 May 2021 08:42


‘Too early to say’ if Sadiq Khan has won London, says Labour

It is “too early” to say if London mayor Sadiq Khan has been re-elected for a second term, Labour has claimed.

A party source told The Independent that low turn-out and voter complacency for Labour has left the race “uncertain,” adding: “There are still half of London boroughs to count and it’s too early to say anything with any certainty at this stage.”

Earlier on Friday reports emerged saying that Shaun Bailey’s camp believes the Tory candidate can stage a huge upset and win the contest.

Adam Forrest8 May 2021 08:27


Labour set to win Senedd after surprise results

Welsh Labour looks set to win the Senedd election after the party fought off challenges from the Tories to key red wall seats in North Wales.

Welsh leader Mark Drakeford has heralded “an extraordinary set of results in extraordinary times” after a strong showing that bucked the trend of the party nationwide.

By Friday evening the party had held firm to its 27 constituency seats, losing the Vale of Clwyd to the Tories while taking the Rhondda from Plaid Cymru – unseating the Welsh nationalist party’s high-profile former leader Leanne Wood in the process.

The results of the Senedd’s 20 remaining regional seats are set to be announced on Saturday, with Labour currently five short of a majority.

Adam Forrest8 May 2021 08:20


Keir Starmer facing ‘hat trick’ of big defeats

Labour leader Keir Starmer and his team are still licking their wounds after a series of  demoralising defeats on Friday.

The Conservatives won the Hartlepool by-election with a majority of almost 7,000. Tory Ben Houchen was re-elected as Tees Valley mayor by a landslide, taking a staggering 73 per cent of the vote.

The Tories are also confident of recording a “hat trick” of big victories by winning the West Midlands mayoralty – we’ll find out that result this afternoon.

Starmer said he took “full responsibility” for a woeful performance which sparked an open battle for Labour’s soul between the party’s left and centrist wings.

He is set is to embark on a major shake-up of Labour’s top team after devastating election results.

Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds is thought likely to be the most high-profile victim of a reshuffle expected within weeks rather than days.

Adam Forrest8 May 2021 07:54


SNP ‘unlikely’ to win majority, says polling guru

Nicola Sturgeon has said the chances of an SNP majority at Holyrood hang “in the balance” as early results saw her party pick up a number of seats.

As the first round of vote tallying drew to a close Sturgeon’s party won 39 of the 48 declared seats – the only party to make gains on their rivals, as they picked up three additional seats.

But the pro-union parties are seat to get a big boost when the regional list results are revealed today.

Polling guru Professor John Curtice claimed the “most probable” outcome will see the SNP falling just short of an outright majority. He said Sturgeon would be “one or two” seats short of taking control at Holyrood.

Adam Forrest8 May 2021 07:48


Boris Johnson rules out ‘reckless’ independence referendum

Leader Nicola Sturgeon said she will push Scots a second independence referendum “when the time is right”, as results in so far in Scotland leave a SNP majority on a knife edge.

But Boris Johnson has insisted he would not support a “reckless and irresponsible” indyref2 vote. Could we be heading for an almighty court battle?

“My impression was that they [the SNP] moved away from the idea of a referendum, and I think very wisely,” the PM told The Telegraph.

The prime minister added: “I think a referendum in the current context is irresponsible and reckless. Let me leave it at that.”

But Sturgeon told Channel 4 News a SNP government would introduce the legislation for a referendum in the Scottish parliament “and if Boris Johnson wants to stop that he would have to go to court”.

Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon in 2019


Adam Forrest8 May 2021 07:43


Boris Johnson ‘preparing for decade in power’

Boris Johnson is said to be preparing for a decade in power after better-than-expected local election results and the big by-election win in Hartlepool.

One government source told The Times the PM was making plans for “well beyond this parliament,” while unnamed cabinet ministers talked feverishly of Johnson being able to rule for at least as long as Margaret Thatcher.

One minister told the newspaper: “Boris is a unique politician. If he wants he could do what Thatcher did and then some.”

Another said that only an “idiot” would challenge the PM given his electoral successes, adding: “It’s really important that the Conservatives win the culture wars and don’t ignore them.”

Boris Johnson in Hartlepool


Adam Forrest8 May 2021 07:40

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