Result bucks trend of Conservative losses elsewhere in England

Ben Houchen has won a third term as Conservative mayor of Tees Valley despite widespread Tory losses elsewhere in England at yesterday’s local elections.

Houchen was victorious in all five council areas albeit with a reduced majority of 53,6%, compared to 73% at the last election in 2021.

Ben Houchen in front of RBF

Ben Houchen has won a third term as Tees Valley mayor

He said it was the “greatest honour anyone could give me” to be re-elected as mayor in the “place where I’m going to be for the rest of my life”.

But Labour said the swing towards the party, which won 41.3% of votes, up from 27.2% in 2021, put it on track to win every parliamentary seat in the area in a general election.

Houchen is known for the wide range of regeneration and infrastructure projects he has championed in Tees Valley during his time as mayor, including Dogger Bank, the world’s biggest offshore wind farm.

>> See also: Meet Ben Houchen: the man putting the power back into Teesside

In January he announced a £1bn infrastructure package for the region which includes new transport connections, railway station improvements and a road upgrade between Hartlepool and Stockton.

Earlier that month he also announced a viability study into a new crossing over the river Tees funded by money left over from cancelled parts of HS2.