Who should you vote for in Stockton North? Here's the candidates in their own words .

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The political map of Teesside is mainly red - but it's changing.

Four of the region's five MPs at the last election were from the Labour Party, but we have a Conservative Tees Valley Mayor and Labour lost control of councils in Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland.

Stockton North was won by Alex Cunningham in 2017 with a majority of more than 8,000.

He is being challenged by Steven Jackson, who is a Conservative councillor in Harrogate, Dr Aidan King, a Liberal Democrat, the Brexit Party's Martin Walker and Mark Burdon, of the North East Party.

Betting odds show that the result in this seat may be tighter this time round.

Alex Cunningham, Labour

Alex Cunningham
Alex Cunningham

Alex Cunningham has been Labour MP for Stockton North since May 2010 and is Shadow Housing Minister.

A journalist, he worked for newspapers and radio before a career in public relations finishing as Head of Communications for Transco. He ran his own business from 2002 – 2010.

He was a member of Cleveland County and Stockton Borough Councils for 18 years holding senior posts in education and children’s services. He served on Arts Council North East, chaired the North East Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and was a member of the National Board. Alex was a non-executive director of the Regional Development Agency, and North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

In Parliament he’s served on the Work and Pensions, Education and Environmental Audit Select Committees. He was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Sadiq Khan then Shadow Environment and Pensions Minister.

Alex maintains interest in education and young people’s issues, led the work to legislate for the smoking ban in cars with children present and champions carers. He chairs three all party groups on Social Work, Energy Intensive Industries and Carbon Capture and Storage.

He’s lived in Stockton for 42 years, is married to Evaline and has two sons and a grandson.

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General Election 2019

Dr Aidan King, Liberal Democrat

Dr Aidan King

Aidan grew up in the North East and attended Newcastle University, subsequently working as an NHS hospital doctor training as a physician specialising in internal medicine.

Aidan self-built his own home and plays 5-a-side football with old mates on a weekly basis. He and his wife are parents to two young sons.

As a councillor he has led campaigns to ensure provision of healthcare facilities keep pace with an increasing population and housing growth. He has also been a regional spokesperson for the Lib Dems in the North East at election hustings and rallies.

He said: "As a doctor who has worked at North Tees Hospital, and benefited from having my right hand reconstructed by the NHS as a teenager, I am determined to ensure that our NHS is safeguarded and gets the funding levels it needs. I believe 1p extra on income tax is worth paying to secure the future of our NHS and social care. I will protect our NHS from being sold off by an unholy trinity of Farage, Johnson, and Trump.

"I’ll campaign in support of abolishing business rates and replacing them with a commercial land tax on landowners, reducing the tax burden on local small businesses and on Stockton and Billingham’s High Streets.

"I support keeping Britain together in the face of a potential further Scottish independence referendum after Brexit."

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Martin Walker, Brexit Party

Martin Walker, Brexit Party

Martin has had a successful career within the UK Retail industry.

He has managed multi-million pound retail operations for the country’s biggest retailers like Dixons Carphone, previously Dixons Retail (Currys & PC World) and Signet Group (H. Samuel & Ernest Jones).

He progressed from retail management to training, developing and managing sales teams and marketing campaigns for the world's largest companies like Apple, Google, Samsung, Toshiba, FitBit and Acer while working alongside a long list of top UK retailers.

He is married with a 2-year-old son called Noah and is expecting a second child in early January. His wife is a quality engineer.

After continued success Martin took a step back from his career following an injury that has required multiple surgeries and in this time spent it studying to pursue a long held passion and desire to work in clinical psychology to help and support vulnerable children and adults.

Having had a successful career he has a deep desire to give back and help the people who need it most. This feeling of duty is what led him to want to stand up for the people of Stockton North, join the fight for our country’s democracy and run as a PPC for the Brexit party.

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Mark Burdon, the North East Party

Mark Burdon, North East Party candidate for Stockton North

I’m Mark, I’m 32 and I’m from Billingham. I live here, as I have done most of my life - I was born at North Tees, went to school at Northfield and college at Bede. I worked as a junior NHS manager in Middlesbrough for around five years before going back to university to do a PhD. I’m also a dad of three, a town councillor and assist in running my local church – so I don’t have much time for hobbies at the moment!

I’ve followed politics since I was a teenager, but only got involved in the last few years when I decided it was time to get involved rather than just spectate.

Despite everything, I still believe politics can improve people's lives. I'm with the North East Party because it seems a lot of our area's problems result from having been overlooked and undervalued by governments of all shades.

But I look at Scotland and I see how devolution, guaranteed extra funding, and an independent political party has worked for them. I want that for our region: not independence, but our own party pushing for more powers and investment in our area.

So if like me you despair at the thought of Johnson or Corbyn as PM, send a message to Westminster by backing a truly local candidate who will put our area first, not a party boss in London.

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Which candidate will you vote for on December 12?

2000+ VOTES SO FAR

Steven Jackson, Conservative

Steven Jackson, Conservative candidate for Stockton North

I believe that Brexit means Brexit. Neither Labour nor the Liberal Democrats will respect the referendum result and a vote for the Brexit party risks splitting the vote and reelecting a Labour MP who has voted to stop Brexit at every opportunity.

Stockton North voted decisively to leave the EU, and now must decide who will respect the result of the referendum. Your choice on December 12th is simple - a vote for the Conservatives to get Brexit done or Jeremy Corbyn who would call another referendum.

I am proud to have been selected as the Conservative candidate for Stockton North and promise to fight for the things that matter - investment in our area, ensuring our national security and maintaining a strong economy. Labour under Jeremy Corbyn take our area for granted, would leave us defenceless and destroy our economy once again.

I don’t come from a political background, I have lived in the North of England my entire life, I work as an engineer and got involved as a local councillor as I am passionate about the things that matter locally - jobs, education and the cost of living. I promise to build on my track record of fighting for residents to deliver results and reverse decades of Labour neglect in our area.

We have a clear choice - Jeremy Corbyn’s London focused Labour party or a Conservative party who will deliver Brexit and govern for all.