A LABOUR candidate defending his seat has received a boost as the Green Party announced they would not be fielding a candidate against him in the upcoming election.

Dr Paul Williams, who is standing in Stockton South, has been endorsed by the party after they met last week.

He said it came after they 'found common ground' on the issue of climate change.

Dr Williams supported Labour moves in Parliament to make the UK the first country to declare a climate emergency and, should he be re-elected, he is promising to help the UK lead the world in protecting the environment for future generations.

He has been supportive of Labour’s Green Industrial Revolution which the party claims promises to create thousands of Teesside jobs in new green industries.

The endorsement from the Greens comes following last week’s endorsement from the Mayor of Thornaby Steve Walmsley, leader of the Thornaby Independent Association which won seven council seats at May’s local government elections. Dr Williams points to this cross-party support as an indication that his campaign, which he hopes to be the “biggest people-powered campaign we’ve ever seen on Teesside” is reaching across traditional political divides.

The Labour candidate is defending a majority of 888 after he defeated James Wharton in 2017.

The Green Party took 371 votes in Stockton South in 2017, and nearly 3,000 votes across the borough at last May’s European Parliament election.

The local branch said in a statement: "Stockton & Hartlepool Green Party are choosing not to stand a candidate in Stockton South, this 2019 election. We feel in this instance that, as the person who has been the MP for this area, Dr Williams shares our position on the vital importance of tackling Climate Change.

“Our party is for the Common Good, and fighting the causes of injustice as well as the environment. Above all, Dr Paul Williams is a man of integrity and we trust that he will honour our requests to stand up for Green issues in Parliament.”