ON Thursday, May 6, a massive 16 runners will line up for the prestigious prize of becoming Hartlepool's MP.

All the usual suspects are there – Labour, Conservatives, Independents, Liberal Democrats all hoping to add the right ingredients, then come up with the perfect dish.

But what is the perfect dish?

The NHS? Labour's candidate Dr Paul Williams is a man who has clocked up over 200 shifts in the town.

In fact, the NHS is supposed to be one of the most important issues of the day, yet according to an early poll Labour are set for a right old whacking from the very same Conservatives who opposed a pay rise for NHS workers, offering a pitiful penny-pinching one per cent instead.

In the town of Hartlepool, one third of children are living in poverty, yet the Conservatives have voted time and time again to abandon free holiday meals for children during the pandemic.

Many locals may be angered that Labour have chosen a candidate who did not want to leave the EU.

But let's look at the alternative – a Conservative MP serving the town of Hartlepool is worse than any Hammer horror film.

Stephen Dixon, Redcar.