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Giant Boris Johnson inflatable goes up to rejoice ‘landmark Tory win’

The 30-ft inflatable was put up near the entrance to the leisure centre where the by-election count had taken place last night. The Tories took the seat in County Durham in a humiliating blow for Keir Starmer and his Labour Party, which had considered the seat something of a stronghold.

Speaking exclusively to the Daily Express today, the man behind the mystery Boris inflatable said: “Today we wanted to signify the landmark win. 

“It was the consensus the Conservatives were always going to win here. In fact, it got to the point where I didn’t know anyone who was going to vote for the Labour Party.

“We wouldn’t have put it up if Boris’ party hadn’t won. It was to mark the win. His party hasn’t had control of Hartlepool in decades, ever maybe.

“It was an adrenaline rush really.”

The dad, who doesn’t want to be named, is part of a group who have called themselves ‘The Hartlepool Wombles’. 

They say they are on a mission to spread some joy after this difficult year and show their town in a positive light.  

And video on Teesside Live shows the cartoonish inflatable outside the leisure centre last night, as votes for Jill Mortimer, a farmer from Thirsk, North Yorkshire, were gradually outweighing those in favour of Labour’s Dr Paul Williams.

The ‘Hartlepool Wombles’ representative, who had the inflatable made and printed in Japan, added: “We became aware the Labour candidate had lost and so decided to put the inflatable up in the early hours.

“People were curious. They were interested to see something a bit different.”

Ms Mortimer described her by-election victory as a “truly historic result”.

Giving a speech after the result, the newly-elected MP said: “I am incredibly proud of the campaign my team and I have run in Hartlepool – it is based on local issues of real concern to the community here, and I would like to thank all of the people of this great town who have responded so positively to it.

“I’m also immensely proud to be the first Conservative MP in Hartlepool for 57 years.

“Not only that, I am the first woman ever to be elected as MP for this town.”

She continued: “It is a truly historic result and a momentous day.

“Labour have taken people in Hartlepool for granted for too long.

“I heard this time and time again on the doorstep and people have had enough and now, through this result, the people have spoken and have made it clear it is time for change.”

Labour’s defeated candidate Dr Williams tweeted: “A massive thank you to everyone in Hartlepool who voted for me, and to the incredible Labour volunteers who worked so hard. #Congrats to Jill Mortimer. I’m off to do the important job now of taking the kids to school.”

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