Senator Hilary Clinton, could be heading to the City of Durham to dig up her mining roots, it emerged today.

The former first lady, who may soon occupy the White House in her own right, has been invited to explore the for herself after it was revealed that her family hailed from the locality.

Hilary Clinton, researchers discovered, is descended from a family of coalminers and her great-grandfather Jonathan Rodham, lived in Oxhill, close to the city.

Now the Mayor of the City of Durham, Councillor Jeffrey Lodge, has written to the presidential hopeful offering her the chance to see the city for herself.

In the letter despatched to the Senate today Coun Lodge cited fellow American Bill Bryson who came to work in England around 30 years ago, fell in love with Durham, and a decade later is Chancellor of the city's historic university.

"One such American endorsed the fact that Durham City was worth a visit and famously offered his car to anyone who wanted to do that American is the 11th Chancellor of the University, Dr Bill Bryson," said Coun Lodge.

President Carter raised the international profile of the North-East in 1977, when he made a historic trip to Washington, Tyne and Wear and the City of Newcastle.

More recently President Bush enjoyed Tony Blair's hospitality in Trimdon.

Tracey Ingle, Head of Cultural Services for the City of Durham, said: "It would be a major coup if she comes."

It is understood that the senator still has relatives living in the area.