Rejoiner Lord Adonis hails ‘watershed moment’ as big as the historic Brexit referendum

Sir Keir Starmer casts vote in 'Super Thursday' local elections

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The Labour peer and staunch EU advocate has described today as a “watershed moment in politics”. More than 48 million people are eligible to vote in today’s polls, with a series of elections taking place across the country.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many elections due to be held this time last year were delayed.

It means Brits are taking part in local and mayoral elections, the Hartlepool Westminster by-election and voters in Scotland and Wales are also electing representatives to their parliaments.

Lord Adonis tweeted: “I suspect today’s elections will come to be seen as a mid-term watershed moment in politics, akin to the 2016 referendum, Black Wednesday in 1992 and the 1981 Warrington by-election.

“So don’t forget to vote!”

Today is the first electoral test for Sir Keir Starmer since taking over from Jeremy Cornyn as Labour leader in April last year.

However, it is also the first electoral test for Boris Johnson since he “got Brexit done”, leaving the EU in January 2020 and securing a free trade agreement with the bloc on Christmas Eve last year.

Eyes are on the Hartlepool by-election, where Labour narrowly held on to the seat in 2019 with a much-reduced majority.

Many other areas in the north of England voted Conservative for the first time on the back of Mr Johnson’s promise to deliver on Brexit.

Labour’s candidate for the by-election is Dr Paul Williams, who previously represented the seat of Stockton South from 2017 to 2019.

While an MP he advocated the UK overturning the referendum result and remaining in the EU.

Endorsing the candidate, Lord Adonis said “good luck” to Dr Williams, describing him as a “brilliant GP hero”.

Last month the Labour peer set out his plans for the UK to rejoin the bloc in the years to come.

Following the European Parliament’s ratification of the trade deal, he vowed to overturn the UK exit process.

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He wrote on social media: “The European Parliament just ratified the Brexit agreement with Britain.

“Our mission now is to reverse this and get Britain back into Europe, where we must be for our prosperity and security.”

He added: “Reversing Brexit is achievable.

“It is a case not of bringing Lazarus back to life but of telling Johnson, Farage, Gove and Cummings to get lost.

“A great democracy and a great people which can’t do that can’t achieve anything much.”

Polling stations for the Hartlepool by-election shut at 10pm tonight.

While many elections taking place today are waiting until tomorrow to begin counting the votes, in Hartlepool the process will get immediately underway.

A result in the election is expected in the early hours of the morning, between 4am and 6am.

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