UKIP leader Nigel Farage faltered when questioned on the issue of Hartlepool’s hospital during an election campaign trail visit to the town today.
Mr Farage gave a speech at the Grand Hotel, in Swainson Street, Hartlepool, which ended with a question and answer session.
The Hartlepool Mail asked what UKIP could do to see a return of services to Hartlepool’s hospital, given it’s one of the biggest issues in the town.
And he was also asked what he thought of a town of this size not having its own hospital.
Mr Farage looked down at his papers and started writing, as UKIP candidate Philip Broughton stepped forward and said he would answer the question.
Mr Broughton said: “It’s absolutely scandalous that we haven’t got a full range of services.
“It’s all about political pressure. We need to have those local services. There are 90,000 people in Hartlepool.
“I’ll be fighting from day one.”
Mr Farage was later asked about hospital services again in an interview with BBC Look North, in which he said: “We want to bring services back to Hartlepool. To make that happen there have to be efficiences in the NHS.”
While in the town Mr Farage also commented on plans for Hartlepool United fans to dress up as Bob Marley for their annual fancy dress for the last away game of the season.
Mr Farage urged fans not to ‘black up’ for the match away at Carlisle, following calls from anti-racism campaign group Kick It Out, as reported in the Mail.