The deputy leader of the Labour Party has spoken to The Northern Echo about the progress the party has made, the winning back of Red Wall seats, and their promises to deliver on key issues in the region. Michael Robinson reports.

Angela Rayner says it has been "pretty clear" voters in the North East had been turning away from Labour and were "angry" with the party.

But she said this year's Local Elections showed the party has made steady progress to winning back these voters - and pointed to Labour's presence on Darlington, Hartlepool, Redcar and Cleveland councils as proof of this.

The deputy leader said Labour would tackle the increased mortage, gas and electric, and food costs affecting people's daily lives, and criticised the Government for failing the North East.

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She said: "These are areas we were significantly falling behind [in] and we're making the progress we need to make - and we need to keep on that kind of trajectory and to show the people across the whole of the North East that things can be different.

"We've got a plan to improve people's lives, bring industry into the area, and give people that pride back.

"We've always had this sense of pride, we work hard for a living and we want to see the fruits of that.

"People shouldn't be struggling who are working, thinking how am I going to pay my mortgage because it's gone up by hundreds of pounds a month.

"These are day-to-day costs and the Government has failed to deliver on it."

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Ms Rayner added she was "humbled" by Labour's resurgence in the region and thanked those who voted for the party.

She acknowledged many had previously felt left with no other option but to not vote for Labour, and that they had been abandoned.

"That was hard coming from a working class background in the North as well, that felt really hard to understand how we lost our way so badly for these people," she added

"I'm incredibly humbled but also feel a hunger to deliver for these people that have put their trust in us.

"Not only are we going to be their voice, we're going to be their delivery model to improve their lives.

"It's not just about people at the bottom of the food chain, and that's important and has always been important, but I think if you're working, you shouldn't be struggling in the way people are struggling today.

"After 13 years of the Conservatives, it has got a hell of a lot harder for people now."

The Northern Echo: Labour's deputy leader thanked those who voted for her party in the recent local electionsLabour's deputy leader thanked those who voted for her party in the recent local elections (Image: PRESS ASSOCIATION)

She said she believes people should be able get back to enjoying their weekends, their time off from work, go on holidays, and be able to afford a home.

She said she worries her children will never be able to become homeowners and said that aspiration has been "snatched away",

And she said she wants to give people the hope that if they work hard, they can do well.

Speaking on the issues of educational attainment, social mobility, and life expectancy in the North East, she said Labour planned to provide 10,000 new doctors and nurses to the NHS to bring down waiting times, ensuring oil and gas companies pay a windfall tax, and bolster worker's rights.

"Labour's been given the chance to be in the room again with [Red Wall] voters, they want to see that practical pragmatism that we're showing," she said.

"The number one aim for me and Keir, and the Labour team, is delivery for people. It's not ideology, it's delivery.

"It's about making sure that people can see that our number one target is about getting the best we can."

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She also said that she was appalled by the billions of pounds that she said was wasted by the Government in what she called their "dodgy contracts".

She cited P&O Ferries' treatment of their workers as an example of treatment Labour are looking to act against.

Amd she said the party would provide first-time house buyers with priority in their local area.