LAST week's local election results – which saw the Labour Party lose two seats in Carlisle – reflect growing public appreciation of Government efforts to rebalance the economy, says the city's Conservative MP.

The Labour Party took a battering in the latest elections.

The Conservatives made gains across England, adding 13 councils and an extra 236 councillors to their tally while Labour has lost control of eight councils, including Durham County Council.

Among the biggest shock was the defeat inflicted on Labour in the Hartlepool by-election, with voters electing a Conservative MP for the first time in 62 years.

In Carlisle, Labour lost Harraby South and Parklands and Newtown and Morton North. "Labour are no longer seen as the party of the working man or woman," said Carlisle MP John Stevenson.

"The Conservatives are a very practical party and we've realised that certain parts of the country have underperformed, and not necessarily had the investment they needed.

"We've recognised that and are putting it right.

"We have £250 million coming into Carlisle over the next three or four years... and that's happening in other areas which have also underperformed.

The city council's Labour group leader Colin Glover said his party needed a "period of reflection" so it could look at how to effectively reconnect with voters and communities.

Referring to Keir Starmer's leadership after the departure of Jeremy Corbyn, he said: "Twelve months is a relatively short time."

"Incumbent" leaders – Tory and Labour – had benefitted from the successful covid vaccination programme, he believes.

Former Workington MP Sir Tony Cunningham highlighted the impressive results achieved for Labour in Wales and by his friend and Labour ally Andy Burnham.

Re-elected as Mayor of Greater Manchester, Mr Burnham garnered 67.3% of the vote – four per cent more than four years ago.

The former Labour health secretary was hailed as a “king of the north” for his defiant stance against the government during Greater Manchester’s second Covid wave in the autumn.

Voters had rewarded politicians who fought for their communities during the successful pandemic vaccine programme, he said.

In Carlisle, the Conservatives now hold 19 seats while Labour hold 13, with four Independents, one Green, one Liberal Democrat, and one UKIP.

In the Police and Crime Commissioner election, Conservative incumbent Peter McCall was convincingly re-elected.

He won the race with 56,753 votes, beating Labour's Barbara Cannon, who received 27,687 votes and Liberal Democrat Loraine Birchall, who got 21,506 votes.

Mr McCall achieved 53.57 per cent of all first-choice votes.