Labour's Angela Rayner visits Teesside in last-gasp bid for votes ahead of General Election

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner with Stockton West candidate Joe Dancey and Shadow Science Secretary Peter Kyle
-Credit: (Image: Graeme Whitfield)

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner has made a last-minute visit to Teesside to rally party activists ahead of tomorrow’s General Election.

Ms Rayner met Labour ’s Stockton West candidate Joe Dancey in Thornaby with indications that the seat could be one of the tightest races in the region. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also visited the constituency last week to campaign alongside the Conservative candidate, Matt Vickers.

Speaking to party volunteers outside of the party’s battle bus, Ms Rayner said that: “Great British people have had enough and they want to see politics in the service of working people.”

Read more: almost 50,000 children living in poverty in Teesside

Go here for more political news

Ms Rayner was speaking shortly after one of Rishi Sunak’s most loyal Cabinet allies said Labour is likely to win “the largest majority any party has ever achieved”. Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride - the Conservatives ’ most prominent spokesman during the election campaign - said it is “highly unlikely” that polls suggesting a victory for Sir Keir Starmer’s party are wrong and appeared resigned to a heavy defeat.

But Ms Rayner and other Labour politicians are wary of people taking the election result for granted and urged people in Teesside to go out and vote on Thursday.

She said: “Here in Stockton, we’ve got Joe who’s a fantastic candidate who was born here and went to school here. We’ve got candidates who are putting their area first and we’re a changed Labour Party. We did have a huge defeat in 2019 but we’re back in the service of working people - country first, party second.

“The contrast with the Conservatives is the chaos, the crashing of the economy, the cost of living crisis and the crisis in our NHS. We have to turn the page on that and Labour is the only party with a plan to roll up our sleeves, working with local candidates like Joe to make sure that we deliver across the whole of the North East and the rest of the UK.”

Ms Rayner was also in Marton, Middlesbrough, on Tuesday evening, to greet Labour's candidate for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Luke Myer and his supporters at a rally.

Luke Myer and Angela Rayner on the party's battle bus
Luke Myer and Angela Rayner on the party's battle bus -Credit:Labour Party

The Conservatives are defending five seats in Teesside after making some unexpected gains in 2019. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak used a visit to the region last week to urge voters to judge his MPs on their record of delivery in the area. But Ms Rayner said: “I’ve been an MP now for nine years and it’s an honour and privilege to do that but in opposition you can’t affect change. That’s been the frustration to me: seeing the damage the Tories have done and not being in power to change things.

“I saw what the last Labour Government did for girls like me with things like Sure Start centres and working tax credits. These really mattered and changed my life and people like me. I want the opportunity to serve.”

For breaking news in your area direct to your inbox every day, go here to sign up to our free newsletter