No Lib Dem candidate to stand in Tees Valley mayor election - Hartlepool by-election announcement due

The chairwoman of the North East Liberal Democrats says the party is looking to “build on recent successes” in local council elections come May, rather than put up a candidate in the Tees Valley mayoral race.

Sunday, 21st March 2021, 4:24 pm
Ben Houchen and Jessie Joe Jacobs

Unlike in 2017 the Lib Dems aren’t fielding a candidate to become Tees Valley mayor, leaving voters to choose between current incumbent Ben Houchen and his Labour rival Jessie Joe Jacobs on May 6.

Councillor Amanda Hopgood, the North East regional chairwoman of the party, said: “We have decided that this May we will be looking to build on our recent successes in local council elections in the region.

“We want to focus on delivering for local people by getting more Liberal Democrat councillors elected in their communities.”

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Councillor Amanda Hopgood

Cllr Hopgood, a member of Durham County Council, said it would be making an announcement in due course in respect of the party’s candidate for the impending parliamentary by-election in Hartlepool after the sitting MP, Labour’s Mike Hill resigned.

Because of the impact of Covid-19 the Government has temporarily reduced the number of signatures candidates standing in local council and mayoral elections require on their nomination forms.

This is aimed at reducing the amount of movement and person to person contact that might otherwise be necessary as part of the nominations process in order to reduce transmission of the virus.

Just two instead of the usual ten are required for local council elections.

Ben Houchen

And as far as combined authority mayoral elections are concerned, only two signatures are required from people registered to vote within each constituent local authority area, meaning Tees Valley mayoral candidates need only collect ten signatures.

They do however have to put up a deposit of £5,000 each.

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Labour's Jessie Joe Jacobs