Jeremy Corbyn was quickly coming under fierce criticism as Labour looked set to face a crushing electoral defeat with the exit poll predicting the Tories securing a strong majority.
The official party line on Friday was to blame Brexit for dominating the discourse, but the Labour leader was quickly being cited as being the greater problem on the doorstep.
Tensions swiftly returned to the surface when the poll suggested Labour would slump 52 seats to 191 while the Tories would surge to 368 and win a majority of 86.
With Labour’s worst result since 1935 forecast, the party lost Blyth Valley to the Conservatives.
Labour had held the seat since 1950.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell sought to blame a public discourse in which “Brexit has dominated” and defended the left-wing policies adopted by him and Mr Corbyn.
But Mr Corbyn will face overwhelming pressure to resign having suffered his second general election defeat.
Ian Murray, who previously served as shadow Scotland secretary under Mr Corbyn and is trying to retain Edinburgh South, rejected the official narrative.
“Every door I knocked on, and my team and I spoke to 11,000 people, mentioned Corbyn,” he said.
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