SPEAKING at the election count, Conservative Thirsk & Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake said it was his party’s national performance that had led to the local party winning just two-thirds of the seats it won in Ryedale last time round.

“We haven’t made life any easier for our candidates in terms of what we’re doing in Westminster,” he said.

He said that he had campaigned with the Conservative district candidates and there was widespread frustration about the national Government and the ongoing Brexit impasse.

“On the doorsteps I got that people are thinking about national politics and that picture isn’t very rosy at the moment. We’ve got to learn from that,” he said.

“We need to make sure we have a proper debate about how we move forward - we can only do that cross-party. There should be no reason why we can’t come to a sensible agreement.”

He added that the big losses the Conservatives sustained nationwide in these local elections - the party lost a total of 1,333 seats across the country - could be the trigger the party needs, but that there still may be a need to undertake European elections next month.

“I think this is the kick that’s needed,” he said.

“People realise that the Prime Minister’s deal - with some tweaks - is the only deal in town.

“If it means our MEPs going to Brussels for a few weeks, in the grand scheme of things that’s not such a big deal.”