Phil Wilson says the Labour Party must return to the centre ground if it wants to get back into government in the future.
Mr Wilson was one of dozens of Labour scalps claimed by the Tories in the seismic general election that brought the Conservative Party’s biggest majority since the Thatcher years – and Labour’s worst result in its history.
The Tories romped to a landslide victory, winning 364 seats and a huge 80-seat Commons majority in Thursday’s election.
Conservative candidate Paul Howell won the Sedgefield seat with a comfortable 4,513 majority – polling 19,609 votes to Phil Wilson’s 15,096.
It comes as huge areas of the North-East, traditional Labour heartlands, all turned blue, with Tory candidates winning in Bishop Auckland, Darlington, Stockton South and Redcar.
Mr Wilson, who succeeded Tony Blair as Sedgefield MP in 2007 and had won four previous general elections, said: “Labour have a long way to come back. That journey will start but it’s a long way to travel. I want to see a Labour government again with the policies that got us elected in 1997.
“The only way the Labour party will return to power in my view is if we rebalance what a lot of people have lost – that strong sense of patriotism.
“The first thing of any government is to defend the country and its people. We need to regain that sense of economic responsibility, that we are aspirational as a core belief and we believe in well-funded public services.
“I stand by my belief that people should have a final say on Brexit as the Prime Minister is the same person who led the campaign three-and-a-half years ago and people have the right to compare his deal with what he promised.
“There’s a lesson for Labour. If we have one person on the doorstep talking about Brexit for every five people talking about the leader, and they are telling you the reason they are not voting for you, then things have got to change.