THE Labour Party has selected its candidate who will run for Tees Valley Mayor next year.

Former charity leader, Jessie Joe Jacobs has been announced as the official candidate who will run for Ben Houchen's role in the Mayoral elections next may.

Ms Jacobs, who founded the vulnerable persons charity 'A Way Out', announced her intentions to challenge the Conservative Mayor earlier this year.

Beginning her campaign she pledged to improve transport links across the Tees Valley, 'remould' the High Street and champion 'good quality jobs'.

On Wednesday, she said: “I’m thrilled to have been selected as Labour’s candidate for Tees Valley Mayor.

"It is a real honour and I’m genuinely humbled to be able to run for a role that I know will bring about transformative change for the area I love."

Ms Jacobs, who said the Tees Valley "needed change", said she could deliver on her promise.

She said: “Tees Valley stands at a precipice, we are brimming with potential, with so many opportunities to be exploited but we need change.

"We need a champion who will deliver on the issues that matter to local people, good transport, better bus routes, a regenerated high street and good quality jobs – I will be that champion."

In August, Mr Houchen approved a pilot scheme to create an Uber-style bus service covering rural areas around the Tees Valley.

The three-year pilot was signed off to help people living in isolated locations access training, employment and essential services.

Mr Houchen said: “People need to be able to get to hospital appointments, college, work and the high street and that’s why I’m making sure these projects are kick-started with the funding they need.

“For too long local people have had to endure poor bus services.

"I am not going to sit by and do nothing as residents outside of urban areas are forced to go without the transport they have a right to expect."