TORY chairman Greg Hands left the BBC’s Chris Mason and political analyst John Curtice in stitches as he claimed his party’s sole victory in three by-elections was “the standout result” of the evening.

In a bruising night for Rishi Sunak’s party, they were defeated by Labour in Selby and Ainsty and by the LibDems in Somerset and Frome.

The party did however hold on to Boris Johnson's old seat in Uxbridge and South Ruislip. 

The defeat in the former marked a record loss as Labour overturned a majority of more than 20,000 while in the latter the Lib Dems overturned a majority of 19,000.

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That didn’t deter Tory chair Greg Hands from trying to stay positive though. Speaking to BBC Radio 4 this morning, he said: “Well I think the standout result was the one in Uxbridge. That’s the one that people weren’t expecting.”

His reaction was met with laughter from both Mason and Curtice (below) who could be heard in the background.

The National: Professor John Curtice -JS. Photo by Jamie Simpson

Host Nick Robinson said: “Forgive me we are joined, I should explain, by the experts Professor Sir John Curtice and Chris Mason.

“I wouldn’t be disrespectful enough to laugh at your answer but they just did.”

Hands replied that the odds had Labour comfortably wining in Boris Johnson’s old constituency.

He doubled down on his comment about the “standout result” as the Tories held onto the seat by just 419 votes.

Hands said: “First of all, they (the electorate) are saying that the Conservatives need to do better. We had a very difficult year last year, the country had a difficult year last year but that is exactly why Rishi Sunak has set the five priorities and delivering those of halving inflation, restoring growth, cutting debt, reducing hospital waiting lists and stopping the boats.”

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Curtice said the results showed the Tories are in “deep electoral trouble”.

He also said that Labour must ask why its hold on the electorate is “apparently so weak” that when a local issue like the Ulez scheme in Uxbridge comes up they “don’t perform as they should”.