Nigel Farage and supporters launch March to Leave in Sunderland as protesters set off across North East

Around 100 people joined former Ukip leader Nigel Farage as he launched a 14-day march to London in Sunderland today.

Saturday, 16th March 2019, 9:14 am
Updated Saturday, 16th March 2019, 11:23 am
Nigel Farage at the start of the March to Leave in Sunderland.

The protest, which started in the city, has been organised by the Leave Means Leave campaign - with day one of the event ending in Hartlepool later.

The "peaceful protest" has been organised in a bid to avert perceived attempts to betray the public over Brexit. It will end in London on March 29.

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This was the intended date set for the UK to leave the EU following the result of 2016's referendum.

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Those taking part will walk 20 miles to Hartlepool today, before setting off for Middlesbrough tomorrow.

Other stops on the march include Pontefract, Doncaster and Wellingborough. The exact route remains unclear.

Nigel Farage at the start of the March to Leave in Sunderland.

Chris Conroy has come down to Sunderland from Eyemouth to show his support for Mr Farage and the campaign.

He said: "I don't want to be part of the EU. We did not want a deal, we want to be out."

Michael Charlton, from Houghton, was also one of those assembled at the start of the march.

He said: "The reason we are here today is to get what we voted for two years ago. 13.4million people are having their right taken away by MPs."

The protest began in Sunderland today. Day one will finish in Hartlepool later.

Anti-Brexit protesters from the grassroots campaign Led By Donkeys were also in attendance at the event.

Ahead of its start, the campaign said two advertising vans would shadow the Leave Means Leave march, showcasing a number of statements and slogans fighting back against Brexit.

Speaking in Sunderland, Mr Farage said it would be an "outrage" if the UK does not exit the EU on March 29 as planned.

Around 100 supporters were there to see it start.

He added: "The will of the people is very clear.

"If you see what has been happening in Parliament this week, we may well not be leaving the EU.

"If politicians think they can walk all over us, then we're going to march back and tell them they can't. Simple as that."

MPs Kate Hoey and Andrea Jenkyns and Leave Means Leave principals John Longworth and Richard Tice were also taking part in the march.

Mr Longworth, who is chairman of Leave Means Leave, said: "It was very encouraging to see the extent of the support for the opening day of the March To Leave.

Kate Hoey MP, Nigel Farage MEP, Andrea Jenkyns MP, Richard Tice and John Longworth. Picture: Leave Means Leave.

The march has been organised to offer Brexit voters who may not be able to travel to London a chance to voice their dissatisfaction with the appalling mishandling of Brexit.

"The events of this week have shown just how out of touch the political class is with the rest of the country and we look forward to making our way down the country over the following two weeks.”