Jeremy Corbyn is to stand down as Labour leader following a "period of reflection".
The party is set for its lowest number of seats since 1935 and Mr Corbyn admitted it had been a "very disappointing" night as support crumbled in its former heartlands.
The anti-war campaigner, who has represented Islington North since 1983, ran as an outside candidate for the party leadership in 2015 and managed to outlast two Tory prime ministers.
But facing his second general election defeat, Mr Corbyn announced that he would call it a day as leader as he was re-elected in his London seat.
He said he would discuss with the party how to move forward after a "period of reflection".
"I will lead the party during this period to ensure this discussion takes place," he added.
In the 2017 election, Mr Corbyn saw his party win 262 seats - that figure is predicted to fall to between 193-199 this time around.
The writing appeared on the wall when the Tories managed to win the former mining area of Blyth Valley for the first time ever.
Labour had held the seat since it was formed in 1950, but the Conservatives managed to overturn a majority of almost 8,000 - a 10.2% swing.
Many in the party have insisted Brexit was to blame for Labour's losses - however others pointed the finger firmly at the leadership.
Labour clung onto several North East seats include Newcastle Central, Sunderland Central, Newcastle-upon-Tyne East and Houghton and Sunderland South, but with much reduced majorities.
And in her victory speech, Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliott said it had been a disastrous evening for the party and it must change.
"The party I have been a member of for 35 years has let the country down by not being good enough to win against this awful Tory government.
"People on the doorstep have repeatedly said to me they cannot vote for this party.
"They will come back to us if we become a radical party for change on the centre-left ground which is where we win elections.
"I will play my part... the country needs a Labour government."
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