THE North-East has SEVEN new Conservative MPs this morning following the dismantling of Labour's so-called red wall in the region. 

Ian Levy, Blyth Valley

Ian Levy is the first Conservative MP for Blyth Valley since 1935.

According to the Conservative Party, he is an NHS worker working in mental health and lifelong resident of Blyth who can trace his ancestry back 500 years in the town.

His major proposals include returning passenger rail services to the Blyth Valley, seeking funding for a relief road for Blyth and other major highways improvements.

The Northern Echo:

He backs spending more money to get more police on the streets. This was the second time he has stood for election, the first time being in the 2017 General Election when, until this year, he received the highest ever vote achieved by a Conservative with 16,000 votes, almost double that obtained by the party in 2015.

Paul Howell, Sedgefield

Paul Howell is a retired accountant who has become the first Conservative MP for the Sedgefield constituency since 1931.

When his candidacy was confirmed, Mr Howell said: "I'm proud and delighted to have been selected as the candidate for the area I have lived in all my life. This is an opportunity for the people of Sedgefield to elect someone who will respect their wishes and champion them in Westminster. I hope they will place their trust in me.”

Mr Howell was elected to Durham County Council for Aycliffe North and Middridge in 2017 and this year was also been selected as a councillor for Hummersknott ward in Darlington.

The Northern Echo:

In a pre-election Q&A with The Northern Echo, Mr Howell said his three priorities for Sedgefield would be as follows:

"The Sedgefield constituency has three distinct parts to it, the Darlington Borough Council wards, the villages of Durham County Council and the town of Newton Aycliffe. Each of these has distinct strengths and issues but they all require an MP who listens and reflects their concerns into Westminster. My priority would be to engage better to find out the real needs of each and I would do this by creating forums for engagement with local people rather than to ignore them. My current thoughts would be to focus on inward investment, training and rural transport."

Peter Gibson, Darlington

Peter Gibson has become Darlington's first Conservative MP in 30 years.

He is a local solicitor, born in Middlesbrough and raised in Redcar and Saltburn, and is the son of an NHS midwife who once worked at Darlington Memorial Hospital and a shipwright who worked at Smiths Dock.

As part of his election campaign, he pledged to boost Darlington town centre, set up neighbourhood watch schemes and improve congestion in residential areas.

The Northern Echo:

He said he would "back businesses" to expand, creating more jobs in the town centre, and promised to "make the case" for extra resources from police.

Mr Gibson also announced a six-point plan to cut congestion to commuters travelling into the town.

He said the introduction of a link road between the A66 and the Coatham Interchange at J59 of the A1 would "put an end to gridlock" in residential areas.

The Conservative candidate, who stood for Parliament in Redcar in 2017, previously said it had been a "huge personal achievement" to get the party from fourth to second place.

Richard Holden, North West Durham

Richard Holden beat Labour’s Laura Pidcock to capture the seat.

He worked as an aide to fellow Tory MP Sir Michael Fallon until 2017 when he was accused of groping a woman at a party in London in December 2016.

However, following a trial at Southwark Crown Court he was unanimously cleared by a jury and the judge said the decision ensured Mr Holden “leaves the court without a stain on his character”.

He has since called for changes to the criminal justice system as a result of his experiences.

The Northern Echo:

In a pre-election Q&A with The Northern Echo, Mr Holden said his priorities for North West Durham would be as follows: “Jobs, we need more good, well paid ones. The potential of North West Durham is massive. The people I’ve met are incredibly motivated and want an MP who’ll work with business and people from across the board to bring jobs to the area, not talk it down.

"Obviously protecting Shotley Bridge hospital is vital and I’ll make sure it gets it’s fair share of the extra £33.9bn we’re investing in the NHS. Transport is a major concern too. I’ll lead the fight to get a Metro link to Consett – it’s unbelievable that the Labour candidate hasn’t been interested in this while she was the MP.

"Finally, education – the 4.31% rise NW Durham is getting next year is good but education opens opportunities and especially in the rural part of the constituency we need to make sure it’s available to all.”

Jacob Young, Redcar

Jacob Young took the Redcar seat from Labour’s Anna Turley to become the town’s first Conservative MP.

The 26-year-old, who works as a Process Operator on Teesside, repeated Prime Minister Boris Johnson's claim to "Get Brexit done" when he launched his campaign.

He has lived on Teesside since birth and studied at Redcar and Cleveland College, TTE in South Bank and Teesside University, and previously stood for Redcar MP in the 2015 General Election.

Describing his intentions Mr Young said: "I’m delighted to once again have the opportunity to fight for this area that I love.

The Northern Echo:

"For the last three years, Redcar’s MP has blocked Brexit at every opportunity and this election is an opportunity to change that.

"I campaigned and voted for Brexit and now I want to help deliver it. This election is about unleashing Britain’s potential.

"We have so many fantastic opportunities in front of us, but the more we delay the harder it is for local businesses to plan. We need to get Brexit done.

“Once we’ve left the EU, the best way we can create new jobs in Redcar is by creating a Freeport on the former SSI site.

"The Prime Minister has already indicated we’re in the running for this. All we need now is a Brexit deal and a government with a clear majority.”

Matt Vickers, Stockton South

Matt Vickers is Stockton-born and has worked locally in retail and construction.

When his candidacy was confirmed, the 35-year-old said: “I am honoured to be selected as the Conservative candidate for my home patch of Stockton South.

“Over the coming months, I will be taking the fight to Labour here in Stockton and taking them to task on their woeful record.

“Just 888 votes decided the outcome in 2017, and I am determined to turn Stockton South blue once again next time round. The stakes have never have been higher.”

The Northern Echo: Matt Vickers, a Conservative councillor on Stockton Borough Council

Mr Vickers was elected as the Stockton Borough Councillor for Hartburn ward in 2015 and stood as the Conservative candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner in 2016.

He is leader of the Conservative group on the council.

Dehenna Davison, Bishop Auckland

Dehenna Davison lives in High Etherley and works near Lanchester. On her website she says she got into politics following the death of her father.

“I often get asked why I got involved in politics. People often assume that it’s because my family are political, or because I’m just interested in my career, but that really couldn’t be further from the truth.

“It all started when I was 13, and my Dad was killed by a single punch. He was only 35, and losing him was an enormous blow to my whole family. The following few years saw some incredibly difficult times for us all. I had to support my Mum and my Nan through several rounds of court proceedings, so I grew up a lot, and very quickly.

The Northern Echo:

“Having learnt early about injustice, I didn’t want other young people to have to go through the same experiences. I wanted to make a difference and try and do some good. But, at such a young age, I wasn’t sure how best to do that. Then, totally by accident, at age 16, I discovered politics.

I realised that going into politics would provide an opportunity to shape the future of our society. To fix injustices. To make life better for people. And that is exactly what I will do here if I am elected as the MP for Bishop Auckland.”

In a pre-election Q&A with The Northern Echo, she said her priorities for Bishop Auckland would be as follows: “Based on your feedback, my priorities are: local healthcare, high streets, and youth employment.

“On healthcare, I am fighting to bring back our A&E at Bishop Auckland Hospital. I will also fight to stop any more services being removed from there or the Richardson.

“On High Streets, I welcome the Government’s £25 million funding pot for Bishop Auckland and will help lead the bid to improve our town. I will then fight for the next funds to come to Spennymoor.

“On youth employment, I will hold quarterly jobs fairs targeted towards young people to help them discover new career opportunities.”