Commenting on the European election results, UNISON South West regional secretary Joanne Kaye said:
“These results are proof that the country is as divided as ever and show the depth of frustration at both main political parties. Politicians in Westminster seem to lack the answers to the biggest issue facing the UK and voters have had enough, regardless of how they voted three years ago.
“In this political void millions have turned to the falsehoods of the far right populists. Nigel Farage has convinced many he’s on their side, but the Brexit Party has been silent on the devastation a no-deal Brexit would have on communities across the country, particularly in the South West.
“This was a disastrous night for the Tories. The party’s worst ever result in a national poll shows it’s lost what little mandate it had to govern. It’s a reflection of the party’s catastrophic handling of Brexit, and of the austerity inflicted upon the country. Whoever replaces Theresa May will have no legitimacy as Prime Minister and a general election is vital to clear the deadlock.
“But it was a terrible night for Labour too and in the South West we lost a brilliant MEP in Clare Moody. If Labour is going to win the next election, it needs to focus on its vision for Brexit – ambiguity and division aren’t appealing.
“Politics is about changing views, inspiring people and being bold. The country needs a radical Labour government, with properly funded public services at its heart – but it won’t get that unless Labour has a clearer line on Brexit.”