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The History Girl: Trudy Harrison becomes Copeland's first Tory since 1930s

The Conservative victory in the Cumbrian constituency marked the first time a United Kingdom governing party has seized a seat at a by-election since 1982.

Labour's Jamie Reed won the seat by more than 2,000 votes in 2015, while the new Conservative MP took it by a similar margin.

To laughter, Jeremy Corbyn denied he had done so and when pushed on the matter, he refused to elaborate and said: "Thank you for your question".

"What we've seen from this victory is this truly is a government that's working for everyone and every part of the country - and that's the message that we bring here to Copeland and we'll take across the country".

JEREMY Corbyn has been given a "final warning" from a top union boss who twice backed him to become Labour leader.

Emily Thornberry told Sky News that "fake news" about Jeremy Corbyn's views on nuclear power had cost Labour.

The Labour leader was given some respite, however, as Labour held off a Ukip challenge to retain Stoke-on-Trent Central.

He went on: "Corbyn is the leader of the Labour party, so while he should not be held exclusively responsible for Labour's downturn, he must now take responsibility for turning things around".

Since entering Downing Street past year Mrs May has looked to reposition the Conservatives away from the metropolitanism of David Cameron and she appeared to present the Copeland by-election victory as a vindication of her appraoch.

"We agree with Corbyn on a lot of priorities: a growth orientated economy built on public investment; a social and youth agenda; fiscal justice and policies to tackle tax evasion; a common and shared EU migration policy; and closer European cooperation on defence". Copeland has had Labour MPs and Labour councils for years.

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Although he admitted that some of the problems that Labour has in working class communities didn't start under Mr Corbyn, he said that more needed to be done to address their concerns.

"Some of the people who vote UKIP will never vote for us so some splitting of the anti-Labour vote is inevitable and if people who will never vote Tory are voting UKIP rather than Labour that is still helping us".

"There is no scope for a leadership challenge, it was tried and didn't work - we are just going to go off the cliff".

But arguably, it was only because Nuttall self-sabotaged himself - without even knowing about it, through a campaign that showcased a litany of scandals - that allowed Labour to recoup some its votes.

She said May's local elections in England, Scotland and Wales are now "absolutely vital" as Labour under Mr Corbyn pose a "danger" to local services.

He said: "We can't have a circumstance again where a week before the by-election a former leader of our party attacks the party itself".

"Copeland is a seat that Labour describe as their "core vote country".

"What's important now is discussing the whole thing and what happened in Copeland".

"The task for the Labour Party, from the leadership and shadow cabinet to the membership, is to unite now to deliver hope that we can have a better, fairer Britain".

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