The Copeland by-election was “amazing and historic”, and showed up Labour as a “useless opposition”, Conservative MP Anna Soubry has told Paul Ross.
“It was a stunning result,” she said. “If you’d written this down a year ago and said there would be a by-election almost two years into a Government’s tenure and the opposition would lose it to the Government, by that sort of margin, it’s amazing and historic.
“Nothing like this has happened for an extremely long time.”
The result has highlighted Labour’s deep electability problems, claimed Soubry.
“[Labour] made an issue about the future of the maternity unity [in Copeland] and our candidate Trudy Harrison, stuck by her guns and said ‘I agree, I don’t want it to close’. It was as much about her qualities as it was about Labour’s pitiful state. They are a useless opposition.”
Soubry added that UKIP’s failure to win in Stoke may lead to yet another appearance from retirement for Nigel Farage.
“With UKIP you often peel off the layers and find something even less attractive,” she said. “I don’t think they’ll go away. Paul Nuttall is deeply wounded and way out of his depth. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see, yet again, the return of Mr Farage.”