Updated: Sunday, 29th March 2020 @ 7:27am

General Election 2019: Tony Lloyd admits Labour faces 'profound issue' as he holds onto seat in Rochdale

General Election 2019: Tony Lloyd admits Labour faces 'profound issue' as he holds onto seat in Rochdale

| By Anastasia Maseychik

Labour’s Tony Lloyd held onto his seat in Rochdale in a rare positive result for the Labour party in their traditional northern heartlands.

Lloyd, who’s served as shadow Northern Ireland secretary, won 24,475 votes to secure a majority of 9,668.

In his victory speech, the former Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner admitted it had been a bittersweet night.

He said: “For me to be re-elected is a great honour, but it is a night where my party has done badly across the country. But I will simply say this: the people of Rochdale were very clear in what they voted for.”

The Conservative candidate Atifa Shah came second with 14,807 votes, followed by the Brexit Party’s Chris Green with 3,867, Liberal Democrat Andy Kelly with 3,312 and the Green Party’s Sarah Croke with 986.

Labour suffered heavy losses across the country on a night to forget for leader Jeremy Corbyn, who confirmed he would not lead the party into the next election.

And Lloyd told MM: “Clearly, the politics that I stand for have suffered a reversal tonight. Labour has got to look at how it reconnects with people across the country and examine what it needs to do to make sure we’re projecting something that gives us credibility again in the constituencies we need to form a Labour government.

“That is a serious and profound issue for us. But we can’t give up on the values that we represent. We need to make sure we’re not running away from the major issues even in a moment of defeat.

“I’ve been a MP when Labour has won elections and when Labour has lost elections. After every election you’ve got to look seriously at what the public have been saying to us.

“There are places like Rochdale where the Labour vote has held up strongly. In other areas, disappointing is a very mild word for what I feel.”