THE Conservative candidate standing at the Hartlepool by-election visited the town yesterday.

Jill Mortimer visited the town ahead of the May 6 by-election which was called after former Labour MP Mike Hill resigned amid a sexual harassment investigation.

Mrs Mortimer, a farmer in North Yorkshire, studied law at Teesside University as a mature student, and has three children.

She said: "My children are doing great things of their own now, I want to bring some opportunity to people so they can have better lives.

"I think Hartlepool is such a fantastic place, there is so much opportunity here. Labour has taken it for granted. My grandma grew up here.

"The problems here it needs somebody to be a champion for the people of Hartlepool. Regeneration and investment is what this town needs."

Mrs Mortimer is currently a councillor for Hambleton District Council, she lives near Thirsk.

Speaking in Hartlepool yesterday, she said: "This morning I have been getting things sorted out, starting to work on the best plan for the people here.

"I won't lie it's going to be a fight. It's been a Labour strong-hold for years for people in the Tees Valley. Labour has let this area stagnate for years.

"Look at the last few years what Ben Houchen has done. We're the only party who has delivered on leaving the EU. Look at Peter Gibson in Darlington with the Treasury move. I want to join that strong change."

Mrs Mortimer will be campaigning to become the first Conservative MP for Hartlepool since the seat was created in 1974.

She said: "It would be a huge opportunity - hard work but I really want to get on in bringing change to peoples lives. The people here are fantastic. The greatest resource this region has is its people and I want opportunities to help them get there.

"I think this town needs massive regeneration, there's already investment brought in by the Prime Minister who's vision is to level up the country. There's investment heading this way. The Freeport is creating 18,000 skilled jobs. I would make sure Hartlepool gets a share of that.

"The people of Hartlepool are interested in bringing investment and jobs and opportunity and regeneration."

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) yesterday announced their candidate to stand for the Hartlepool by-election.

David Bettney will be the party’s candidate for the Hartlepool by-election.

Dr Paul Williams is standing for Labour.

Hilton Dawson has been confirmed as the candidate for the North East Party.