New Hartlepool MP thanks Theresa May for calling early election in maiden speech

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill.
Hartlepool MP Mike Hill.

Newly-elected Hartlepool MP Mike Hill has thanked Theresa May for calling the general election.

Eyes were on Labour's Mr Hill - who was elected to the seat in the June snap-election - as he stood up to address Parliament in his maiden speech at Westminster.

Mr Hill won 52.5% of the votes on June 8, beating Tory candidate Carl Jackson into second place.

The first-time candidate was fielded due to the stepping down of long-term Hartlepool MP Iain Wright.

"My constituents are no fools," he told fellow MPs. "They know their own minds and speak plainly.

"They voted massively for Brexit - at 69.5% the highest vote in the North East - but that did not mean they were converse to UKIP or the Tories as UKIP found out when they lost their deposit in the general elections, and, as the Tories found out when we increased our majority.

"So I thank the Prime Minister for deciding to go to the polls early.

"The fact that they voted in a the local football mascot Hangus the Monkey as their first elected Mayor shows humour and an ability to challenge the establishment when they need to.

"Unlike the Monkey Mayor I did not get elected for promoting free bananas for every primary school pupil, but I did so on the promises that I would fight for these kids, for for their schools, for the NHS, for our hospital and for our public services, and, against the Government that is hell-bent on breaking them.

Mr Hill said he major issues in Hartlepool include unemployment and a drop in life-expectancy, and, he promised to "fight tooth and nail" against austerity.

He also spoke of his love for his adopted home town, and said he would fight for trade unions and cooperate movements.

Mr Hill also used his address to pay tribute to his predecessors Iain Wright, Peter Mandelson and Edward Leadbitter.