DARLINGTON’S MP is among the first to congratulate the town’s newest councillor, a teenager who is now among the youngest elected politicians in the country.

Jenny Chapman said Sharifah Rahman, at just 18, is possibly Darlington’s youngest ever councillor as she celebrated a win for Labour in a by-election last night.

Named Darlington’s Citizen of the Year in 2016, Ms Rahman is also believed to be one of the youngest politicians in the UK.

Ms Rahman was elected to represent the Red Hall and Lingfield ward after standing against independent candidate Kevin Brack, Conservative Jonathan Dulston, Liberal Democrat Harry Longmoor and the Green Party’s Mike McTimoney.

A by-election held simultaneously for the Mowden ward saw Conservative candidate Alan Marshall elected to represent residents. 

Ms Rahman, who has lived in Darlington all of her life, took to social media following her win to say it was an "absolute honour" to be elected to represent her community. 

Speaking to The Northern Echo, she added: "I am so honoured to represent my home community and to have been elected by my ward.

"This is such an exciting time, to support the area I love, I feel incredibly grateful and humbled.

"I hope to be a voice for residents, and I can't wait to get started."

In a post on Facebook, Labour MP Ms Chapman said she was looking forward to working with Ms Rahman, a known anti-racist campaigner who has spent weeks campaigning on the doorsteps of the ward she will now represent.

Newcastle councillor Dipu Ahad also offered his congratulations, saying: “A massive congratulations and huge respect to the dynamic Sharifah Rahman.

“Not only does she become the first ever Asian woman from a Bangladeshi, Muslim background to be elected as a councillor at Darlington Borough Council, but she also becomes the youngest ever councillor in Darlington, and one of the youngest in the region, if not the country at the age of 18.”

Darlington Borough Council's official declaration of results for the Mowden ward is as follows:

Kathryn Barley for the Green Party received 26 votes

Edwin Heslop for Labour received 285 votes

Sarah Jordan for the Liberal Democrats received 111 votes

Alan Marshall for the Conservative Party was elected with 652 votes

The official results for the Redhall and Lingfield ward are as follows:

Kevin Brack, independent, received 46 votes

Jonathan Dulston for the Conservative Party received 230 votes

Harry Longmoor for the Liberal Democrats received 11 votes

Michael McTimoney for the Green Party received 20 votes

Sharifah Rahman was elected with 249 votes