Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Naked Joy for Lavery as Exit Poll Is Revealed; Election XXXX X2017 WE'VE COME A LONG WAY - CAMPAIGN MANAGER

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Naked Joy for Lavery as Exit Poll Is Revealed; Election XXXX X2017 WE'VE COME A LONG WAY - CAMPAIGN MANAGER

Article excerpt

Byline: MIKE KELLY Reporter

JEREMY Corbyn's campaign manager has revealed his reaction to the exit polls which predicted a hung parliament.

Ian Lavery, candidate for the Wanbeck constituency in Northumberland, said: "To say that I was surprised is an understatement." Mr Lavery admitted he was late getting ready to attend his own constituency vote when he saw the exit poll come through.

"I was standing half naked in front of the telly and I screamed when I saw it," he said.

"My wife shouted what's the matter with you?" He added: "We'll wait and see what the final result is.

"At the beginning of the night we thought there would be four scenarios. That we could win, which we knew was highly unlikely.

"That there would be a hung parliament, which would be an uphill battle.

"That we could minimise the amount of seats we lost - potentially.

"That there would be Tory landslide - again, potentially." He added: "We have come an awful long way in six or seven weeks. When we started we were 24% down in the opinion polls.

"But there was a buzz on the streets. People were excited and they wanted to vote. There is something happening in politics. "We've got a massive foundation to build on to change things."

He said for along time Corbyn and his team were "putting out fires" as their work was hindered by internal party strife.

Some MPs who have held their seats were out-and-out anti-Corbyn.

"I hope all our MPs will get behind us. This is just the start.

"We're offering something new to the people. It's brilliant.

"The Tories ran a disgraceful campaign and it didn't work."

As of 3am, Labour had comfortably held all the North East seats they won in Newcastle, Sunderland, South Shields, Jarrow and North Tyneside in 2015.

And, against the odds, they held Darlington where Jenny Chapman was returned with a slightly increased majority despite the marginal being heavily targeted by the Tories.

They even held Bishop Auckland, another seat Theresa May's party was confident of taking. …

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