British voters do not want “left-wing extremism”, according to a former Labour MP who lost his seat tonight.

Mike Gapes represented Ilford South for 27 years as Labour’s pick, before quitting the party in February.

He was standing tonight as a candidate for the Independent Group for Change, a largely collapsed coalition of anti-Brexit Labour and Conservative defectors.

New Labour candidate Sam Tarry won Ilford South with over 35,000 votes – with Mr Gapes polling less than 4,000.

Speaking after the result, the former MP said: “I left the Labour Party in February after 50 years for three reasons.

“Corbyn’s pro-Putin foreign policy. His facilitation of Brexit. And the anti-Jewish racism that is now so entrenched in the Labour Party.

“I made clear that Jeremy Corbyn is not fit to be Prime Minister, and it is clear that the British people agree with me.

“They do not want left-wing extremism – but because of Corbyn’s failure my constituents will now have to suffer five more years of a hard-right Brexit-supporting Conservative party.”

Mr Gapes said it had been “a great privilege and honour” to represent Ilford South.

He said he had a positive campaign, likening his canvassing to a farewell tour by an “ageing rockstar”.

He said: “We had no data, no party machine, but we gave Labour a fight.”