A SENIOR Labour Party politician has distanced himself from Jeremy Corbyn in a strongly-worded election leaflet.

Phil Wilson has made his position clear on his controversial party leader as he tries to hold on to the Sedgefield seat in next month’s General Election.

In the leaflet, which takes the form of a hand-written letter delivered to voters across the constituency, Mr Wilson says he is “no supporter” of the Labour leader – adding he is “for Labour not for Corbyn”.

He has also told voters in Sedgefield their choice on June 8 “won’t affect” who becomes the UK’s next Prime Minister.

Opinion polls suggest Sedgefield – where former Prime Minister Tony Blair served as MP for nearly 25 years – will be closely contested in next month’s election, and is one of a number of Labour seats in the North-East that could fall to the Conservatives.

In the letter, Mr Wilson says: “Your vote in Sedgefield on June 8 won’t affect who is in number 10 on June 9 – but it will effect who is your local MP.

“I am no supporter of Theresa May and I am no supporter of Jeremy Corbyn – the only people I support are you, the people of Sedgefield constituency."

The letter adds: “I put local people and local concerns first – from backing your Brexit, bringing Hitachi here, to fighting to keep your A&E open and for fully funded schools.

“If this means standing up to May, I do. If this means opposing Corbyn, I do.

“I am for Labour not for Corbyn, it is my name on the ballot paper.”

Speaking to The Northern Echo about his letter, Mr Wilson said: “It is something I feel strongly about and people I am talking to also feel strongly about it.

“Something needed to be said, I have said it.”

Addressing concerns that he may have alienated supporters of Mr Corbyn in his constituency, Mr Wilson said such people need to “face reality”.

“It is up to them," he said. "If they want a Labour MP, they should still vote for me.”

Mr Wilson said his letter was not a sign he was conceding defeat, insisting he was “Labour to the core” and he was just “being honest” with the electorate.

“I have been very public with my views about him – I didn’t vote for him to be leader, and people only need to go on Google to find out my views

“I am proud to be from the local area – I have great passion for Sedgefield. I have worked here and my kids go to local schools, but people need to know where I stand.

“You’ll find Labour MPs in the North-East really care passionately about their local community and want to continue doing that,” added Mr Wilson.

Other Labour MPs in the North-East have been critical of Mr Corbyn, but few have been as blunt with their views as Mr Wilson.

Outgoing Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP Tom Blenkinsop announced he was not contesting next month’s election due to "significant and irreconcilable" differences with Mr Corbyn.