Dr Paul Williams announced as Labour’s candidate for Hartlepool by-election after Mike Hill's shock resignation
Dr Paul Williams has been confirmed as the Labour candidate in the forthcoming Hartlepool by-election following the shock resignation of Mike Hill.
The Labour Party has announced Dr Williams will contest the seat in the by-election – which could take place on Thursday, May 6. It comes after Mike Hill's sudden resignation as Labour MP on Tuesday, March 16, with the reason for his departure still unconfirmed. He has been approached for comment.
Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer MP has backed Dr Williams as the town’s candidate along with Brenda Harrison, the leader of Hartlepool Labour Group.
Dr Williams, who has been working on the frontline during the ongoing pandemic at Hartlepool’s One Life Centres and in the Urgent Care Centre at Hartlepool hospital, said it was ‘an honour’ to be selected for the town.
"It’s a brilliant town with fantastic people and a bright future,” he said.
"Working during this crisis I’ve seen the NHS at its best and fighting for services at our local hospital would be my top priority as your MP.
“But the NHS isn’t being looked after properly by the Tories. They closed Hartlepool’s A&E in 2011 and other services have been taken away since. I’ll fight for our hospital and for the services we need.
“The Tories have let Hartlepool down. Over the past decade of being in power they’ve taken from Hartlepool, taken police off the streets and taken services from our local hospital.
"The Tories on Teesside are focussed on Stockton and Middlesbrough and Hartlepool gets the crumbs from the table, if we get anything at all.
“We don’t want people to have to go out of the town to get good jobs or go to hospital or to the shops.
"We want jobs and services right here in Hartlepool for local people. That’s what I’ll be fighting for as Hartlepool’s MP.”
Backing Dr Williams, Labour Party Leader Sir Keir Starmer, said: “Paul has already been keeping local people safe as a doctor during the Covid crisis – he will be a powerful voice for the town as its next MP. I can’t wait to campaign alongside him.
“Over the last year, the Labour Party has been listening and changing: returning the party to the people.
"That’s why at this election we’ll be fighting to secure Hartlepool’s local economy, protect its NHS and then rebuild the town after the pandemic.”
Brenda Harrison, Leader of Hartlepool Labour Group, said: “I’m delighted that Paul has been selected as candidate and I know he will be a brilliant MP for our town.
"As a doctor he knows full well what we have all been through over the past year.
“He has worked on the frontline of the crisis as a Covid doctor and I’m just so thankful for all he has done for keeping the people of Hartlepool safe and well.
"I can’t think of anyone better to stand up for Hartlepool in Parliament.”
A spokesman for Hartlepool Constituency Labour Party, said: “Paul Williams was the standout choice of the CLP and we are delighted with this decision.
"We wanted a candidate in place early so we can use every day campaigning for Labour and putting across our positive message.”