A YOUNG politician has launched a Youtube channel with the aim of countering fake news and political bias.

Conservative councillor Mike Renton, who has represented Stephenson ward on Darlington Borough Council since last year, said while the social media platform was known for polarised commentaries, he hoped to provide an opportunity for debate from all sides of the political spectrum.

The channel is being launched as Labour politicians are calling for emergency laws to stamp out fake news anti-vaccine content online, with the introduction of financial and criminal penalties for social media firms that do not remove false scare stories.

Cllr Renton’s The Powernous channel will include a weekly news and conversation programme on Mondays at 7pm, as well as videos giving insight into life as a politician.

Those lined up to feature in the first show on the channel include Conservative councillor Jonathan Dulston, deputy leader of Darlington council, and Independent Mayor of Middlesbrough Andy Preston.

The move follows Cllr Renton issuing a pledge earlier this year to give Darlington council’s leadership “a good roasting” and enable difficult questions to be asked of the authority to ensure residents get best services.

After being elected as chair of the Communities and Local Services scrutiny committee on Darlington Borough Council, he used his first meeting to set out his plans for a shake-up of authority’s scrutiny committee system.

Cllr Renton, who runs a public relations firm in the town and has previously worked in the newspaper industry, said: “I’m so bored of the mainstream media and YouTube channels only spewing out their left or right wing nonsense, that I’ve been left with no choice but to set up a channel.

“I have to be honest from the off, I am a Conservative councillor and I do have my own strongly held views. But I am also tolerant of people with opposing views, I’m not going to call for your head on a pike if I disagree with you.

“I want to speak to people on all sides of the political spectrum, and not just about politics, these people are humans too, so I want to give them an opportunity to break down that barrier and let the world know more about themselves.”