EU Referendum

EU referendum: Keith Vaz laments 'crushing' leave vote

Strawberry sellers in Hinckley
Image caption Market stall holders were celebrating in Hinckley after 60.3% voted to leave the EU

The EU referendum result is a "crushing decision" which will have catastrophic consequences for the UK and the EU, Leicester MP Keith Vaz said.

Across Leicestershire and Rutland, only the city came out in favour of remaining in the union with the county following national trends.

Mr Vaz said it was "a terrible day for Britain and a terrible day for the EU".

North West Leicestershire MP Andrew Bridgen said the country would continue to do business with Europe.

Follow the latest news on the referendum in Leicestershire

Leicestershire reflected much of the country with 54.49% of voters opting to leave the EU.

The biggest margin was in Hinckley and Bosworth where 60.3% voted to leave while Melton Mowbray had the largest turnout with 81.3%.

Leicester was the only place to vote in favour of the EU - with 51.1% voting remain - but it also had the lowest turnout at 65%.

Analysis: Radio Leicester political reporter Tim Parker

In the early hours, the strength of the Leave vote in Leicestershire was a surprise. But as the whole result emerged it's about the norm.

But who would've thought of it in the usually conservative (and Conservative) Leicestershire?

Northwest Leicestershire turning out and voting Leave in such numbers, only two days after a Boris Johnson visit, might not be so surprising.

But a similar pattern of behaviour from the likes of Oadby and Wigston and Melton? That will give local politicians a feast for thought.

Image caption Leicester East MP Keith Vaz was visibly disappointed with the result

Labour MP Mr Vaz said the Leicester result was a big shock and proved the Remain campaign had not been good enough.

"This is a crushing, crushing decision. It's a terrible day for Britain, and a terrible day for Europe with immense consequences."

"In 1,000 years I would never have believed the British people would have voted in this way and they have done so - I think emotionally rather than looking at the facts. It will be catastrophic," he added.

But he said the will of the electorate had to be respected and called for an emergency meeting with EU heads of state.

Could Leicestershire MP be next PM?

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Bizarrely, bookmakers are giving 100/1 odds for former Labour leadership hopeful Liz Kendall, MP for Leicester West, to become the next leader of the Conservatives after David Cameron steps down.

Meanwhile, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has told the Loughborough Echo she would "seriously consider" running to become the next Prime Minister.

The bookies have the Conservative MP for Loughborough as an outside bet for the top job at around 33/1.

Alan Duncan, Tory MP for Rutland, is 100/1 for the job, they say.

Boris Johnson and Theresa May are currently the bookies' favourites.

Conservative Mr Bridgen, who campaigned to leave, said that the short term volatility of the markets followed a steep rise in the pound shortly after the polls closed.

"Markets will sort themselves out and all the risk will be priced in very, very quickly," he said. "We will still do business with our European allies and the rest of the world.

"People will go to work today, and go to work tomorrow and the economy will continue."

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