'Immensely proud' Jill Mortimer wins Hartlepool by-election for the Conservatives by nearly 7,000 votes

Jill Mortimer is Hartlepool’s new MP after the Conservatives emphatically won Hartlepool’s by-election to break Labour’s 57-year Parliamentary reign over the town.

By Mark Payne
Friday, 7th May 2021, 7:11 am
Updated Friday, 7th May 2021, 8:11 am
Jill Mortimer pictured just minutes after becoming Hartlepool's first female MP and the town's first Conservative MP for 57 years,.
Jill Mortimer pictured just minutes after becoming Hartlepool's first female MP and the town's first Conservative MP for 57 years,.

Mrs Mortimer was declared the winner at just after 7am on Friday morning with a majority of 6,940 votes.

She received 15,529 votes with Labour’s Paul Williams finishing second on 8,589 votes and independent challenger Samantha Lee coming third with 2,904 votes.

Mrs Mortimer successfully overcame a 3,595 majority held by former Labour MP Mike Hill after his sudden resignation triggered the by-election.

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Jill Mortimer, second woman on the right, arrives at Hartlepool's Mill House Leisure Centre ahead of confirmation that she is Hartlepool's new MP.

The 56-year-old farmer and North Yorkshire district councillor is the first Conservative MP to serve the town since naval hero Commander John Kerans stood down ahead of the 1964 General Election.

After her triumph was confirmed, she said: “I’m incredibly proud of the campaign my team and I have run in Hartlepool.

"It’s been based on the local issues of real concern to the community her and I would like to thank all the people of this town who have responded so positively to it.

"I’m also immensely proud to be the first Conservative MP in Hartlepool for 57 years. Not only that I’m the first woman to be elected as MP for this town.

A 30ft inflatable Boris Johnson appeared outside Mill House Leisure Centre, in Hartlepool, where votes are being counted for the Hartlepool Parliamentary by-election.

"It’s a truly historic result and a momentous day.”

Mrs Mortimer campaigned on having a plan for jobs through the new freeport, apprenticeships, regenerating the town centre and cutting crime with more police on the beat.

Her election bid was boosted by three visits to Hartlepool by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and a number of other senior ministers.

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Read more: LIVE Hartlepool by-election blog
From left to right in both rows, the 16 candidates in alphabetical order.

It also appears to have benefited from the Government’s Covid vaccine programme.

With counting delayed as votes for four separate elections needed to be firstly verified, it was daylight before her victory was confirmed.

The long evening had been punctuated by the mystery appearance outside the Mill House Leisure Centre count of a giant inflatable of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The real thing is expected to travel north once again to Hartlepool at some point over the weekend to congratulate the new MP.

The full by-election result was:

Jill Mortimer (Conservative Party) 15,529

Paul Daniel Williams (Labour Party) 8,589

Sam Lee (Independent) 2,904

Claire Martin (Heritage Party) 468

John Prescott (Reform UK) 368

Rachel Sara Featherstone (The Green Party) 358

Andrew Michael Hagon (Liberal Democrat) 349

Thelma Doris Walker (Northern Independence Party) 250

Chris Killick (Independent) 248

Hilton Dawson (The North East Party) 163

W. Ralph Ward-Jackson (Independent) 157

Gemma Evans (Women's Equality Party) 140

Adam Gaines (Independent) 126

Nick “The Incredible Flying Brick” Delves (The Official Monster Raving Loony Party) 108

David Bettney (Social Democratic Party) 104

Steve Jack (Freedom Alliance) 72