Mike Hill resigns as Labour MP for Hartlepool

Mike Hill has resigned as Labour MP for Hartlepool the Labour party has announced.

Labour confirmed on Tuesday lunchtime that Mike Hill had quit as the town's MP.

A Labour Party spokeswoman said: "Mike Hill has resigned as Member of Parliament for Hartlepool with immediate effect."

The 57-year-old had represented the North East of England town since 2017.

He held off a Conservative and Brexit Party challenge at the last election but saw his majority slashed by more than half to just under 3,600.

Hill's sudden resignation, however, has triggered a by-election.

The decision sets up a fresh electoral contest in a seat long-held by Labour, marking the first test of Sir Keir Starmer's leadership since taking over from Jeremy Corbyn last year.

Mr Hill is due to face an employment tribunal later this year into claims of "sexual harassment and victimisation"

Senior Labour figure Anneliese Dodds did not comment on Mr Hill's resignation when asked about it during a virtual event with the Reform think tank, instead focusing on the upcoming local elections in May.

"We have a whole range of elections coming up very, very soon," the shadow chancellor told the event.

"We have local elections and they don't necessarily hit the headlines as much, but for their impacts on people's living standards, they are absolutely critical."