EU referendum: 'Let down' North East votes Leave

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Sunderland countImage source, Ian Forsyth/Getty Images
Image caption,
Loud cheers greeted the Sunderland result

People across north-east England voted to leave the European Union because they felt "let down" by the government, a Labour MP has said.

Julie Elliott, MP for Sunderland Central, said she believed people took "cuts to local councils, to the health service, insecurity in work" out on the EU and gave it a "kicking".

But Leave Sunderland organiser Richard Elvin called the result "fantastic".

Newcastle was the only area to vote Remain. The other 11 voted Leave.

UKIP's Mr Elvin said: "It's an absolutely fantastic result. Who could have predicted 61.5% against 38.5%?

"We had a feeling when we were walking the streets, knocking on the doors, that we were going to be on the winning side this time and we were proved correct. We're absolutely delighted."

Ms Elliott said: "Obviously we're very disappointed with the result, we've campaigned very hard to get a Remain vote, but I think this is about people feeling really let down."

Northumberland voted Leave with the leader of the county council expressed concern, saying it had benefited from millions of pounds of European investment.

Councillor Grant Davey said: "Services will be damaged and jobs will be lost if this government doesn't immediately deliver a plan to replace this now lost funding."

The Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Rev Christine Hardman, called for people in the region to "build bridges, not divisions", in the wake of the referendum vote.

She said: "In the North East, as in many parts of the country, the sharpness of the debate and the divisions it has highlighted pose a challenge for us as we move forward into the future.

"As someone who is inspired by Christian hope, I believe that the task is now for us to unite, to build a generous, outward-looking, and welcoming country.

"The call is to build bridges not divisions."