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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Booth

It All Counts

I can't believe It's already a week since the local elections took place. The scrutinising eye of the national media focussed its attention on the Tees Valley Mayoral count where there was a chance that political blue might change to red. Ultimately, incumbent Conservative candidate Ben Houchen was successful in achieving his third term in office with a healthy 53.6% of the vote compared to his nearest rival, Labour's Chris McEwan with 41.3%.

On a day when the Conservative Party suffered heavy losses including 474 councillors and a member of parliament in the Blackpool South by-election, Ben Houchen was the one success of the eleven mayoral races held.

From the excitement of the count at Thornaby Pavilion, a quick dash was made to a hangar at Teesside Airport where platforms were quickly erected, the press regathered, and local Conservative MPs, coucillors and supporters drafted in to provide an approriate background for a surprise visit by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, offering his congratualtions to returning mayor Houchen.

Pictures processed and sent, I returned to Thornaby to check on the outcome of the Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner election result. With minutes to spare, I re-entered the hall, votes counted, and the two candidates taking to the stage for winner Matt Storey to be declared. Quite a day of rushing around but full of excitement nonetheless.

#election2024 #conservative #labour #teesside #mayor #teesvalley #pcc @TheNorthernEcho @TeesValleyCA @ClevelandPolice

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