The co-chair of the Conservative Party has been roasted for spinning the result of the Batley & Spen by-election as a Conservative success.

After Kim Leadbeater won the seat, narrowly but against poll and pundit predictions, Amanda Millings was rolled out to do the broadcast rounds and ended up scoring a bit of an own goal by saying “we didn’t lose” the election.

Speaking to LBC’s Nick Ferrari, she said: “This was always going to be a really tough battle.

“Actually we didn’t lose, we didn’t win it, we didn’t gain it... this was a Labour hold, it was not a Labour win.”

Leadbeater won the seat by 323 votes, against the Conservative challenger Ryan Stephenson (who?!). Speaking at the count, she said: “I will do my very best to represent the whole of Batley and Spen as their new MP.

“I’m absolutely delighted that the people of Batley and Spen have rejected division and they’ve voted for hope.”

Millings claimed that governing parties do not usually win by-elections and that the defeat was narrow, which should be celebrated by the Conservative Party, but that this did not constitute a “win” by the Labour Party caused people to roll their eyes:

Explaining the situation in football terms, Ferrari said: “Do you imagine if England beat Ukraine by one goal tomorrow night that goes in off the referee’s backside in the 89th and a half minute, do you think England fans will say ‘we didn’t really win, did we?’”

He added: “There’s a problem for the Conservative Party and just having your leader and Prime Minister arrive, eat and ice cream, and walk along the prom and talk about the vaccination programme doesn’t cut it any longer”.

Meanwhile, Millings was similarly skewered by Sky’s Kay Burley as she was forced to admit that the Matt Hancock saga contributed to the Conservative Party’s defeat:

Something makes us think she won’t be Boris Johnson’s first choice next time the Conservative Party needs to speak to the media.

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