Ben Houchen will attend today’s meeting of England’s mayors with new PM Sir Keir Starmer despite being the only Tory present, his spokesperson has confirmed.

It comes as the Mayor for Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool wrote to Starmer asking for a one-to-one meeting to discuss his priorities.

Sir Keir announced at the weekend he would meet on Tuesday (July 9) with metro mayors up and down the country to discuss “their part in delivering the growth that we need across the United Kingdom”.

He said this would include non-Labour mayors because “regardless of the colour of their rosette, my door is open and my Government will work with them”. The only Tory mayor left in England is Ben Houchen, in the Tees Valley.

Sir Keir announced the meeting during a press conference on Saturday (July 6).Sir Keir announced the meeting during a press conference on Saturday (July 6). (Image: PA)

A spokesperson for Lord Houchen confirmed he will be attending the meeting tomorrow and said the mayor was keen to stress he will work with anyone to deliver for his region.

He will sit in the meeting as the only non-Labour politician around the table.

It comes as Lord Houchen wrote to Sir Keir on Monday (July 8) setting out securing investment from BP and British Steel as key priorities.

Houchen wrote: “We may come from different political parties, but your success in this role is in all of our interests and I wish you all the best in the months and years ahead.

“During my tenure as Mayor, we have delivered a number of significant achievements in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.

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“These achievements have laid a strong foundation for the future, but there is much more to be done. I am eager to discuss how your Government can support us to build on these successes and address the challenges that lie ahead.”

Lord Houchen.Lord Houchen. (Image: CHRIS BOOTH)

He also asked the PM for a one-to-one meeting to discuss how to secure investments for the two landmark projects which he said “require urgent action from your Government”.

Meanwhile, North East Mayor Kim McGuinness wrote to the PM outlining her demands, with saving Hitachi - the focus of this newspaper's 'Keep Hitachi on Track' campaign - one of her key priorities.