THE new MP for North West Durham paid tribute to her socialist roots as she won her seat with a majority of just under 9,000 votes.

First time parliamentary candidate Laura Pidcock is the new MP for North West Durham.

She takes up the reins from former Labour MP Pat Glass, who decided not to stand for re-election.

Ms Pidcock gained 25,308 votes, ahead of Conservative Sally-Ann Hart in second place with 16,516 votes.

The 29-year-old, who had been due to start a job with the Trade Union Council the day before being shortlisted as the Labour candidate for the area, paid tribute to her parents, who she described as “the best socialists and most hardworking people I have ever met.”

She added: “Thank you for bringing me up in a political household.”

Speaking to The Northern Echo, she said: “The Tories thought they were going to make gains and it has not borne out. What more can I say?

“What a tremendous campaign the Labour Party has had.

“My priority now is to serve the residents of North West Durham to my best capacity. I will work tirelessly, whether that’s in the Government or in the shadows.”

Giving thanks for the “strength, determination and power” of Jeremy Corbyn, she added: “For people who are really suffering, the tide is turning.”

Ms Hart, who got around 6,000 more votes than her party in the last election, said: “I’m immensely grateful to the people of North West Durham for the welcome they have given me. I’ve met so many wonderful people on the doorstep.

“I’ve enjoyed coming home and fighting for a seat that is close to my heart.”

Liberal Democrat Owen Temple, who was third with 3,398 votes, said: “Can I congratulate the winner Laura and Sally-Ann as well. They have shown women power at it’s very best. I have particular admiration for passion and enthusiasm they have shown.

“I say to Laura if you show half that passion for the community over the coming years they will be well served.”

Alan Breeze, the Ukip candidate, was fourth with 2,150. He said: “It’s been an interesting campaign. Over the last few days on the doorstep we have been hearing that people who voted Ukip last time have voted Conservative this time. There wasn’t enough to swing it to take it from Labour.”

Green candidate Dominic Horsman, who was bidding to become the country’s first transgender MP, was fifth with 530 votes.

Mr Horsman, who wore a rainbow tie he was given at Durham Pride last week and only stood after learning there was no other green candidate for the area, urged other people to get involved in politics.

He said: “Believe in yourself and your ability to take part the conversations we are going to have as a country because every voice is needed.”

The turnout was 66.65 per cent, with 7,973 votes cast.

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