NEWLY-appointed Prime Minister Boris Johnson is already in talks with North-East politicians to bring in more investment to the region, it has been claimed.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said he is already in dialogue with Mr Johnson's team to make sure the area is heard in the budget later this year, including getting more money for the old Redcar Steelworks site and investment across the North for projects like Northern Powerhouse Rail.

But not all North-East MPs welcomed Mr Johnson being elected as the new leader of the Conservative Party, with Stockton South MP Dr Paul Williams saying he was "unfit to be Prime Minister", and Redcar MP Anna Turley calling it a "disastrous decision for our country".

Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson described the appointment as "deeply depressing for the United Kingdom" - adding "the one thing he will not do is unite our country".

Mr Houchen said: “Only a few weeks ago Boris announced in Darlington that he backed my Freeport policy and that Teesside could get a Freeport post Brexit. I’ll now continue to work with the new Prime Minister and his team to make sure that this gets delivered for the people of the Tees Valley. Boris will also need to deliver Brexit. something that 67 per cent of people in the Tees Valley voted for.

"I’m already in dialogue with his team making sure that the Tees Valley is heard in the budget later this year, including getting more money for the old Redcar Steelworks site and making sure that we see investment across the North of England by funding projects like Northern Powerhouse Rail.

"A £39bn project that will revolutionise rail travel in the North and one that Boris has supported throughout his leadership campaign.”

Simon Clarke, Middlesbrough South and east Cleveland MP, said: “This is a huge mandate for Boris Johnson to become Prime Minister – he secured the support of two-thirds of Conservative members and well over half the MPs. Now we can focus on delivering Brexit, uniting our Party and defeating the danger of Jeremy Corbyn whenever the next election comes.

“Boris is absolutely right that we need to leave the EU by 31 October. If the EU want to offer a fair and sensible deal, we are listening, but we now have a Prime Minister who is absolutely clear that we will leave without a Withdrawal Agreement if needs be, and that in either scenario our country will make a success of our independence.

“Boris brings optimism, seriousness of purpose and self-belief to the crucial months that lie ahead. I’m excited by key policies like delivering a Freeport at Teesport and putting 20,000 more police on our streets over the next three years. These are the things people on Teesside want to see and now we have a leader who will deliver them.”

Dr Williams said: “Boris Johnson is unfit to be Prime Minister because of his character, his policies and his lack of empathy.

“On character, he tells lies. He has been fired from two jobs for lying. If he were a doctor he’d be struck off.”

“His policies offer nothing that solves the problems I see in my constituency. A tax cut for people earning £80,000 isn’t going to bring extra investment for schools and the NHS, or help low paid workers struggling to make ends meet.”

“Boris Johnson’s lack of understanding of the lives of people are at the root of these bad judgements. He just doesn’t get it, and doesn’t even try to.”

“He has always done what is best for Boris Johnson, not what is best for the country.”

Ms Turley added: “This is a disastrous decision for our country and I worry what it will mean for communities like ours to have a Prime Minister who does not understand our experience and our challenges.

“Boris Johnson is a proven liar who will say whatever he likes to get what he wants. His Etonian life experience is far removed from people on Teesside and this shows in his decision to prioritise tax cuts for the wealthiest over investment in public services and jobs.

“Most worryingly, he is prepared to gamble with the livelihoods of people in our area on a no deal Brexit which would be catastrophic for our local economy in the North East.

“Boris does what is best for Boris and Teesside deserves better. I will be holding him to the government's previous commitments to the steel industry and to funding the clean up and regeneration of the SSI site. This matters more than tax cuts for the wealthy."

Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald added: "Boris Johnson is dangerous, reckless, incompetent & can't be trusted.

"Never in my lifetime has there been a more difficult time in British politics. We now have a Prime Minister who amongst all the people in parliament is singularly the most unfit individual for the job."

Mr Johnson said it was an "extraordinary honour and privilege" to be elected Tory leader.