THE voters of Tynedale are preparing to head to the polls once again after a December 12 general election was agreed.

Political parties are beginning their campaigns in the Hexham constituency, in the hope they can win votes in what will be the third general election in four years.

Prime minister Boris Johnson said he hoped the election would give him a fresh mandate for his Brexit deal and put an end to the political deadlock which has seen the UK’s exit pushed back again until January 31. The main political parties have now all declared their candidates for Hexham, with Nick Morphet of the Green Party the latest to be announced last week.

Prospective Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Hexham, Stephen Howse, said the election was happening because of the “Conservatives’ failures on Brexit” and people had been glad to see that they had a pro-European, green candidate.

Mr Howse, who is from Newcastle and works for an organisation that aims to bring more women into science, technology and manufacturing careers, added: “Lots of people who voted differently in 2017 are telling me they plan to switch to vote Lib Dem this time to stop Brexit – including some members of other parties.”

Penny Grennan, the Labour candidate, who has lived in Hexham for the past 25 years, said the party had begun campaigning on doorsteps in Tynedale in March, and her campaign was telling people what the alternatives were to “Tory austerity and a poor deal Brexit”.

She said: “It is clear that that many are badly affected by nearly ten years of austerity, particularly with reference to health care, care for the elderly, education, the lack of truly affordable housing, and poor public transport.”

Meanwhile, Hexham’s sitting MP and Conservative candidate Guy Opperman, said he was proud to seek re-election on his local record, after serving as MP for Tynedale and Ponteland for nine years.

“In our area we see jobs growth, investment in new school buildings, a proactive county council which supports Tynedale, outstanding local health services, our precious green belt protected and more police being recruited.”

Mark F. G. Griffin, from Corbridge, has now replaced Keller Fong as the Brexit Party candidate.

He emigrated to the UK from Canada 30 years ago with his wife Karen and their two sons, and said he had “voted to leave the control the EU has over our borders, laws, trade and our future.”

He added: “To get control of our borders, laws, trading relations, and your future, we must vote Brexit.”

The Green Party has chosen a vet, care worker and environmental worker as its parliamentary candidate for Hexham.

Mr Morphet, born and raised in Tynedale, currently splits his time between wildlife veterinary work, conservation volunteering and caring for people with learning disabilities.

He said: “The Green Party has a bold vision for a better future, and it will be an honour to spread the Green message.

"All our policies are geared towards improving people’s lives while simultaneously benefiting the environment; it’s the ultimate ‘win-win’ situation.