SUNDERLAND will be represented by UKIP for the first time in history after the party picked up a North East seat in the European Election.
The anti-European party won one of the three seats up for grabs to represent the region in Brussels and Strasbourg, with Labour winning the other two.
The result meant the ousting Tory MEP Martin Callanan, who was chairman of the European Conservatives and Reformists group in the European Parliament.
The Liberal Democrats lost their seat. Prior to the election, Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems all had one seat each in the North East.
Labour’s Stephen Hughes and the Lib Dems’ Fiona Hall had both decided not to stand again.
Newly-elected Labour MEP Jude Kirton-Darling said: “It is a fantastic night for Labour.
“We have knocked the leader of the Tories out of the European Parliament – an extremely corrosive politician who has upset a lot of people.”
Her new colleague Paul Brannen claimed it was a “major victory for Labour” as they had not just seen off Mr Callanan but “defeated the Liberal Democrats resoundingly”.
He said Labour will listen to those who felt unable to vote for them in this election and listen to their concerns.
“Ultimately, we will only be able to address those if we go on and win the General Election a year from now,” he said. “This result puts us on target to do that.”
The UKIP winning candiate Jonathan Arnott promised to create “shock waves” when he takes his seat in Parliament.
He said: “Nigel Farage promised a political earthquake. We have caused that tonight.
“It is time now to go to Brussels and to work together with any moderate, like-minded politicians and let us take the North East’s message to Brussels and let us create shockwaves there too.”
Mr Callanan was the only sitting MEP who was running for reelection in the North East.
The full results:
•Labour Party – 221,988 (28,899 from Sunderland)
•UKIP – 177,660 (20,593 from Sunderland)
•Conservatives – 107,733 (10,962 from Sunderland)
•Liberal Democrats – 36,093 (1,950 from Sunderland)
•Green Party – 31,605 (2,638 from Sunderland)
•An Independence from Europe – 13,934 (1,529 from Sunderland)
•BNP – 10,360 (1,139 from Sunderland)
•English Democrats – 9,279 (870 from Sunderland)
LAB Paul Brannen
LAB Jude Kirton-Darling
UKIP Jonathan Arnott