AS Darlington’s MP confirmed her intention to stand for re-election, a Tory rival claimed the town was “completely winnable” for his party.

Conservative Peter Cuthbertson has his sights firmly set on the town, having been narrowly beaten by Labour MP Jenny Chapman in 2015.

He said: “I will definitely be putting myself forward for selection to run again as the Conservative candidate for Darlington.

“I have every reason to think that this is completely winnable.

“I don’t want to be complacent about my chances but everything that’s happened in the last two years gives me hope that change is on the cards.

“I think this election is the opportunity of a lifetime for Darlington to join the mainstream of the country, influence the national picture, and leave behind a failing Labour Party that is more extreme than at any time in living memory.”

Current MP Jenny Chapman said: “Let’s not pretend this [general election] is in the national interest, it isn’t.

“I will fight to stay as MP for Darlington, the town where I grew up and the town I love.

“We have important battles to fight including saving services at Darlington Memorial Hospital. These are battles I intend to fight and intend to win.”