THE Conservative mayor for the Tees Valley has has secured a second term after a landslide election victory.

Ben Houchen beat his Labour rival Jessie Joe Jacobs after securing 72.7 per cent of the vote and large majorities in all five of the combined authority areas. 

In a straight head-to-head between the candidates Mr Houchen secured a total of 121,964, against Ms Jacob’s 45,461, with a turn out of just over 33 per cent.  

In Redcar, Mr Houchen secured 75 per cent of the vote, with 24,663 votes compared to Labour’s 8,236.

In Darlington, the figures were 19,876 to Mr Houchen, another 75 per cent share, with 6,799 to Ms Jacobs.

In Middlesbrough, Mr Houchen secured 17,748 votes (68 per cent) to Ms Jacob’s 8,141.

In Stockton, the Tory Mayor secured 38,420 (72 per cent) compared to Labour’s 14,442.

In Hartlepool, Mr Houchen secured 21,257 votes compared to Ms Jacob’s 8,023.

Following his victory, Mr Houchen said there was more to do following decades of neglect.

He said: “I do feel a bit overwhelmed and extremely humbled.

“I want to thank everyone across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool. I will continue to fight our corner with Government and anyone who needs it in our local area.”

He added: “We have not seen the peak of what we can achieve. I’m very proud to continue with what we have started. There’s still a long way to go. I’m not going to stand here and pat myself on the back. We need to get back to work.

“We have made a fantastic start.”

Speaking to the Echo, Mr Houchen said the Government would have to show sustained interest in the region if the Conservatives are to repeat their electoral success.

He said: “If the Conservative Government wants to win the next general election they are not going to be able to take Teesside, Darling for granted.

“A lot of areas that now have Conservative MPs, including Hartlepool, will be judged on whether they have delivered for local people.

“We’ve made a great start with the treasury and free port and airport and a whole list of other things. We need to do much, much more. This is not the end of the road, its the start. We’ve put the building blocks and foundations in place but there’s a huge amount of work to do and a long way to go.”

Following her defeat, Ms Jacobs said: “And we’ve got a job to do to hold you to account and I know we’ve got some of the big names in the Conservatives here today and I hoped I would see Boris himself because you’ve now got the police, you’ve got the health services, you’ve got the business investment, you’ve got most of the MPs, most of the councils

“It is now all on you and it is all on Ben Houchen, and I want you to succeed actually, because if you succeed then children won’t go hungry, and if you succeed, we’ll get the public transport sorted, we’ll get that rail sorted.”

Labour’s Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald congratulated Mr Houchen and the new Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner.

He said: “Whilst the turnout was disappointingly low, the verdict of the electorate is crystal clear and we in the Labour Party have no alternative other than to be humble in accepting the decision of the people and learn the right lessons from what has been a terrible series of elections for us across Tees Valley.”