A NEW MP has pledged to continue to support men who were subjected to horrific abuse while held in borstal as youngsters.

Conservative Party MP for North West Durham Richard Holden, who ousted former Labour MP Laura Pidcock at last month’s General Election, addressed the House of Commons on Monday evening.

He began his maiden speech by paying tribute to his predecessor, now chief of staff for Leeds East MP Richard Burgon, who is hoping to become deputy leader of the Labour Party.

Mr Holden said: “Although we come from very different political angles with very different political philosophies, I recognise particularly the work that she did for the men who were victims of sexual abuse in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s at the Medomsley detention centre, and I will continue that campaign.”

Mr Holden said there were many campaigns he was involved in, designed to help drive the local economy.

He said he was looking at ways to attract investment in the high streets of Crook, Willington and Consett and into transport, particularly in rural bus services in Weardale, Tow Law and villages across the constituency.

He is also hoping to look at whether a new rail link is possible for Consett.

Mr Holden said: “I will be campaigning for a feasibility study to reconnect our area to the growth centres of the North-East, with a cycle and walkway alongside it. If this proves viable, as I hope it will, I will be campaigning for public money to get our area plugged into the Northern Powerhouse.”

Mr Holden said he will be campaigning for investment bring the Eastgate cement works site in Weardale, which closed in 2002, back into use.

Referring to the Elddis caravan and motorhome manufacturer in Delves Lane, Mr Holden said: “My constituency is one of the largest producers of these in the country, and they have already been hit by a huge increase in vehicle excise duty.

“I hope that the Government front benchers will listen to my pleas to see that reversed.”