Ben Houchen has been re-elected as Tees Valley Mayor winning 73% of the vote. His nearest rival was Labour’s Jessie Joe-Jacobs.
Houchen said that he was “overwhelmed and humbled” and that his plan was to bring “attractive jobs” to the region. He also commented that he had made a “fantastic start” but that there was “still a long way to go”.
In Jacobs’ impassioned concession speech, she talked about her background and commitment to working with those who are seriously disadvantaged and how she “stood for them because I believed there was a better way, I stood for them as a beacon of hope that would deliver not just the big things but also the small things. “
She also addressed Houchen directly saying:
“”It is now all on you and it is all on Ben Houchen, and I want you to succeed actually, because if you succeed then children won’t go hungry, and if you succeed, we’ll get the public transport sorted, we’ll get that rail sorted…
“”I don’t want empty promises, I want delivery because if you don’t, the fire that is in me and the courage that is in me to go up against Ben, is in every working class person in this place.
“They’re giving you a chance, You fail them and you’ll never get another one.”
Will Ben Houchen be up for this challenge? Time will tell.