Starmer demands general election as new Labour MP takes his seat

Sir Keir Starmer urged the Prime Minister to call an election “as quickly as possible” as he welcomed Labour’s newest MP to Parliament.

Chris Webb took his seat in the Commons on Tuesday, five days after winning the Blackpool South by-election with almost 60% of the vote.

Welcoming Mr Webb to Parliament’s Westminster Hall, Sir Keir praised his “phenomenal victory” and hailed him as “the first born-and-bred Blackpool MP for 60 years”.

The Labour leader joked that the party was “making a habit of this”, with Mr Webb making Thursday’s by-election the eighth of the Parliament to see Labour gain a seat.

“The nation wants to turn a page on 14 years of chaos, of division and of failure, and usher in a decade of national renewal.

“And I think the Prime Minister should heed that call, reflect on this and give the country what it wants – which is a general election as quickly as possible.”

Earlier in the day, Mr Webb swore an oath to the King as he took his seat in the Commons.

Chris Webb
Chris Webb triumphed in the Blackpool South by-election (Peter Byrne/PA)

Mr Webb secured 10,825 votes, a share of nearly 60%, while the Conservatives’ David Jones received 3,218 and Reform UK’s Mark Butcher 3,101.

The by-election followed the resignation of former MP Scott Benton who had been caught in a sting by the Times newspaper telling reporters posing as gambling investors he could lobby for them in return for payment.

Mr Benton had the Conservative whip withdrawn and, after an investigation by parliamentary authorities, was suspended from the Commons for 35 days.

This triggered a recall petition in his constituency, but Mr Benton resigned before the result of this came in.

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