Newton Aycliffe’s MP Phil Wilson says he intends to stand in the snap General Election, to stand up for the place he calls home.
The Labour MP for Sedgefield will fight his fourth General Election campaign after MPs voted overwhelmingly to back Prime Minister Theresa May’s call for an early election on June 8.
Several North-East Labour MPs have already announced their intention not to stand, including Mr Wilson’s close colleague and friend Tom Blenkinsop, North West Durham MP Pat Glass and Hartlepool MP Iain Wright.
Mr Blenkinsop, MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, cited “irreconcilable differences” with the party’s leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Mr Wilson, whose constituency office is in Aycliffe town centre, has also been very public in his criticism of the Labour leadership, but says he wants to continue fighting for local people.
“I will be seeking re-election as MP for Sedgefield on June 8 to stand up for the place I call home and local people with local values, and fairness for everyone,” said the 57-year-old.
“As your MP I always worked hard for my constituency to make sure that the whole community gets the best deal possible, despite savage Tory cuts decimating local services.
“Even now one of our hospitals in Darlington faces the closure of their A&E, putting local people’s lives at risk.
“Whether it’s working in Parliament to hold the government to account, leading the campaign to bring train builders Hitachi to Aycliffe, helping an elderly couple in Trimdon to get their heating to work in the middle of winter, or working in partnership with the police to fight crime in our communities, I will always do my best for the people of Sedgefield.
“This is why I will be asking you to give me your vote on June 8, 2017.”
Mr Wilson won his third election in the 2015 campaign, when he won slightly more votes than in 2010 but saw his majority reduced from 8,696 to 6,843.
He had succeeded Tony Blair with a 6,956 majority in the 2007 by-election after the ex-PM’s resignation.