Ben Houchen re-elected as Tees Valley Mayor

Voters across the Tees Valley have re-elected Ben Houchen as their Mayor.

He claimed victory over Labour candidate Jessie-Jo Jacobs with 121,964 votes.

In a speech he thanked colleagues and his team for their support.

Senior Tories have congratulated him on his landslide victory.

Tory co-chairman Amanda Milling and Chancellor Rishi Sunak were among those who highlighted Mr Houchen's re-election.

Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, said: "Few have done more to transform a community. Teesside is a very different place.

"Leadership matters. We need more elected mayors delivering for our communities."

The victory means the Tories have now achieved two parts of the "hat-trick" of electoral successes they have targeted - winning the Hartlepool by-election and retaining the mayoralties in Tees Valley and the West Midlands.

The Tees Valley Combined Authority covers five boroughs - Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, and Stockton.

The mayor role was created in 2017, and carries with it some funding and powers over things like economic growth, transport and skills.