THE Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn visited the North-East for the first time in this election campaign yesterday – and was defiant in the face of polls suggesting a Conservative majority.

Dismissing suggestions his party could lose a number of previously safe seats in the region, he told The Northern Echo he 'never comments on polls'.

A YouGov poll has suggested that the Conservatives are on course for a 28-seat majority.

Instead he said he was focusing on campaigning on key issues including reducing child poverty, protecting the NHS and providing more stable employment for the people in the region, as he visited a hotel car park in Middlesbrough.

"I have come here with a message of hope," he told a crowd of hundreds of Labour supporters.

And he said he believed his party will still win the election.

"Of course we are going to do it - no problem at all," he said.

But he would not say if he would resign if Labour does not get a victory.

Mr Corbyn was on an election eve tour of the country, starting in Glasgow first thing and ending in London – but boasted that he did not need a helicopter, and he would not be hiding in a fridge – a dig at Boris Johnson who hid from a Good Morning Britain reporter by entering a fridge.

Mr Corbyn spoke of Boris Johnson’s promise to build 40 new hospitals as "a complete piece of dishonesty" which he claimed had been scaled back to just looking at initial funding for six new hospitals.

Laura Pidcock, candidate for North West Durham, Lauren Dingsdale, the candidate hoping to win Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland from the Conservatives, and Middlesbrough candidate Andy McDonald joined Mr Corbyn from the platform.

Also present was Mike Hill, the Hartlepool candidate, and Labour Party chairman Ian Lavery.

Conspicuously absent was Dr Paul Williams, Labour’s candidate for neighbouring Stockton South.

Ms Pidcock told the crowds: "In the next few hours they will throw everything at us," she said.

"This man, Jeremy Corbyn, has sustained the most unbelievable attacks on his character in the last few years and he is still standing strong because we don’t need to spread fake news, we won’t spread lies, we are on the right side of history."