Labour Leadership candidates set out their vision for the North East

By Kris Jepson

The Labour Leadership candidates have set out their vision for the North East during a hustings event in Durham.

Sir Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy took to the stage at the Radisson Blue Hotel in the city, fielding a series of questions from members of the Labour Party.

Watch @krisjepson's extended report here:

One of the main priorities for the next leader of Labour will be to regain the trust of former Labour voters in the old "Red Belt" heartlands, like in the North East.

Sir Keir Starmer told ITV News he has visited the region several times over the last four years and claimed there a three things the people he met have told him.

They say we need infrastructure, particularly transport. We need jobs that are secure jobs, jobs with dignity and we want decisions about us made by us, so all of that needs to be listened to, but we’ve got to win those seats back.

Sir Keir Starmer MP
Labour Leadership race Credit: ITV News

Rebecca Long-Bailey told ITV News the next leader needs to avoid "spending the next four years telling our voters they were wrong", but actually they need to "set out a positive vision of what Britain can look like outside the European Union".

We set out a positive vision and that involves building a robust industrial strategy, showing what the jobs of the future are going to look like, showing the industries of the future, developing a green industrial revolution here in the North East.

Rebecca Long-Bailey MP
Labour Leadership race Credit: ITV News

Lisa Nancy told ITV News the party needs to understand why traditional Labour voters in seats like Blyth Valley, North West Durham and Sedgefield turned away from the party and "turned to the Tories in large numbers".

We must show people that we can earn back their trust to make the very fundamental change that this country needs, to rebuild the transport infrastructure, to get investment into good quality jobs so that young people in places like County Durham can choose to stay and contribute to their communities.

Lisa Nandy MP

Labour members listened intently as each candidate spoke passionately about a number of subjects including jobs, industry, investment, the environment and of course Brexit.

One man told ITV News "I quite like Lisa Nandy and what she’s said. I think she could get support from the party, but more importantly, I think she can gather support from the whole country."

Labour Leadership race Credit: ITV News

A woman told ITV News "Rebecca Long-Bailey had the best idea about the new industrial North and the new green deal and it seemed to me she would be providing the jobs for this region that we need."

Another woman said "for me it was Keir Starmer. I think he came over as honest, committed, he cares about people and I think he’ll make an excellent leader of the Labour Party."

Voting for the leadership gets underway tomorrow. Members who attended the Durham hustings event went home with a unifying message from all three candidates - Labour must unite or risk being out of power for a generation.