THE two candidates for the Conservative Party Leadership have faced a grilling in the North-East.

Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson were in Darlington on Friday, where they faced questions from Tory party members.

Brexit dominated the narrative for both men, while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was frequently mentioned.

However, farming, police cuts and education funding were all discussed.

Both candidates made a speech before taking questions, first from CNN's Hannah Vaughan Jones and then from the audience.

Mr Johnson said: "Whatever happens in November after we leave, the planes will fly, the water will run, and there will be a way for our Mars Bars to get through. And there will be parmos.

"There's a lot of work to do but it can be done. Around the world, people admire, love, and respect this country. If only we could see ourselves as others do.

"I think the Northern Powerhouse needs much more content. We need to be investing in broadband and high speed rail connections.

"I will get more police on the streets and back them with stop and search. We will continue to support UK agriculture and continue with vital support for farmers. We will make sure we don't allow food to come in that doesn't conform to UK hygiene or animal rights standards.

"We're going to knock Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party for six."

Mr Johnson also strongly denied claims that, during his time as Foreign Secretary, information was withheld from him due to fears over his discipline.

Mr Hunt started by claiming that he and Johnson are not too different with their views on Brexit, in that they would both prefer to leave with a deal.

However, Hunt claimed he would be better placed to negotiate with the EU due to his entrepreneurial background.

He also made reference to protecting farmers and addressed the North-South divide.

Hunt said: "If you're a sheep farmer it would be a shock if you're suddenly faced with 40 per cent export taxes. We will try and help them adjust.

"If there's disruption, the British Government will be there for you to help you adjust.

"I think we have to back HS2. We've been talking about the North-South divide for a long time, we need to do something about it. We need to have two tech triangles, one in the South and one in the North."

Both men also reiterated their fears that, if the party fails to deliver Brexit, they could cease to exist.

Mr Hunt said: "Get this wrong and there will be no Conservative Government, no Brexit, and potentially, no Conservative Party.

"Faced with our hard left populist, we could chose our own populist, or we could chose our own Jeremy."

Johnson added: "We're facing an existential crisis as a party and a political class.

"We asked the people if they wanted to leave the EU. The British people returned a very clear answer which was extraordinary.

"It's why we're languishing in the polls. "