Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has become one of the first senior figures to congratulate Rishi Sunak on becoming the new Prime Minister.

Mr Sunak was confirmed as the new Prime Minister this afternoon after his only potential rival, Penny Mordaunt, conceded the Tory leadership race and said the Richmond MP has her “full support”.

Mr Houchen has been a staunch supporter of Mr Sunak, and the Conservative mayor was quick to give his backing to today's developments, praising the new Prime Minister's support for flagship developments in the North East.

Read more: Rishi Sunak becomes Prrime Minister after winning Tory leadership race

Mr Houchen said: "I'd like to congratulate Rishi on becoming Prime Minister. He's helped to deliver projects across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool that will create long term opportunities that will transform our area.

"From the UK's first and largest Freeport in Redcar through to the new Treasury Campus in Darlington, he's been a huge ally and friend to our area and I will hold his feet to the fire to make sure progress continues now he's Prime Minister.

"I hope this is the end of the ridiculous saga that's occurred over recent months and that Rishi, leading the Government, can now concentrate on getting us through the difficult months ahead."