LABOUR’S new Hartlepool MP promised to “rebuild” the town as he held off what proved to be a non-existent Conservative and Ukip challenge to continue his party’s stranglehold on the constituency.

Mike Hill received 21,969 votes, over 7,000 more than his closest challenger – Conservative Carl Jackson, who scored 14,319.

The result saw Labour, who have held Hartlepool since 1964, more than double the majority they achieved in 2015.

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The Northern Echo:

Despite suggestions before the count began that Labour could be run close, party members were confident from the early stages that they would achieve a comfortable victory.

Mr Hill, who dedicated his victory to his father, takes over from Iain Wright, who did not stand in this election.

The Conservative camp were in a sombre mood throughout the night, with Mr Jackson refusing to speak to the media until the result was known.

Ukip’s Phillip Broughton scored 4,801 votes – more than 6,000 down on his 2015 total, while the Liberal Democrats achieved 746 votes.

Speaking after his victory, Mr Hill thanked voters and his team for their “amazing commitment” to win “this wonderful town”.

“Ours (Labour’s) has been a positive campaign celebrating the ambitions and the aspirations of the people of our town.

“Hartlepool is going places – it really is.

“Its people are proud and ambitious and so are we (Labour).

“Labour will rebuild our communities and I will put this town on the map.”

Mr Hill also said he believed a “strong young turnout” contributed to Labour’s increased majority in the seat.

Turnout was just over 59 per cent – marginally higher than two years ago.

Mr Jackson said it was a “tough and hard fought campaign”.

“Mike will be an outstanding candidate for the town,” he added.

Mr Broughton made a brief speech after the result was announced where he thanked voters and his “small” team, but told The Northern Echo he was “disappointed” with the result.

Andy Hagon, Liberal Democrat candidate, said: “It has been absolutely fantastic to talk to people across Hartlepool about their stories.”