'The people of Hartlepool aren't daft,' newly-elected MP Jill Mortimer tells LBC

7 May 2021, 09:01

By Fiona Jones

Jill Mortimer, the newly-elected MP for Hartlepool, claims the constituents "aren't daft" after the Conservatives took the seat from Labour for the first time since it was created in 1974.

The seat turned blue, electing Jill Mortimer as MP, after being held by Labour for almost 50 years.

Her 15,529 votes were nearly 7,000 ahead of Labour's candidate Paul Williams who polled 8,589.Results will continue to come in throughout Friday but early results in council contests across the country also show voters turning their backs on Labour.

The new MP told Nick Ferrari, "The people of Hartlepool wanted change and they voted for positive change so here we are."

Nick asked: "They lent you and your party their votes, what are you going to do to repay them?"

"I'll do everything I can to repay the trust the people of Hartlepool have placed in me. Looking around, I've seen so many opportunities that have been missed here so I will be taking a hand in making sure we take a grasp of those opportunities and make them what they should have been," said Ms Mortimer.

Read more: Hartlepool: 'Labour's got a big problem,' says former MP, as Tories win 'iconic' seat

Nick pointed out that it's the Conservatives who have been in power for over a decade and it is them that has neglected to give opportunities.

"I disagree, the opportunities that have been missed by the Labour MPs who have been in power here for the last 47 years," she said, "they've failed to act to secure the opportunities that they could for their town."

Nick asked what the constituents wanted when she doorstepped them during the election campaign.

"They wanted change," she said, to which Nick pointed out, "you say change but it's a Conservative Government."

"The people of Hartlepool aren't daft, the people of Hartlepool knew the Labour MPs had not been doing their best for them and that's why they wanted a change. They've seen change happening throughout the Tees Valley under the Conservative Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and they've seen the wonderful things he's done bringing in the airport, bringing in the free port, they know that someone will work with him to secure most of those opportunities."

Ms Mortimer revealed that she is yet to hear from Prime Minister Boris Johnson and has instead been "getting on with her job", branding it all "very overwhelming."

Read more: Labour suffers early defeats in 2021 elections as counts continue