Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice announces he is standing for MP in Hartlepool
The chairman of The Brexit Party has announced himself as the party’s new General Election candidate for Hartlepool.
Businessman Richard Tice pledged to bring new investment and jobs to the town if he is elected as his candidacy was announced on a visit to the town yesterday.
Mr Tice said Hartlepool is one of The Brexit Party’s key targets in the whole country after almost 70% of voters in the town backed the UK to leave the European Union in 2016’s referendum.
He is the party’s most high profile figure after leader Nigel Farage who has said he will not stand as an MP in next month’s election.
Mr Tice told the Mail: “Hartlepool is a huge supporter of Leave. Seven out of ten people voted to leave in the referendum and one of the biggest votes in the European elections for The Brexit Party.
“It’s a natural place for us to be one of our key targets in the whole country. It’s typical of a town in the North East that could benefit so much from Brexit.”
He said he would use his business background to work with the pro-Brexit led council to make positive changes.
Mr Tice added: "I have worked outside the Westminster bubble and know how to get things done and solve problems.“My party and I believe in common sense politics that will bring money and jobs into Hartlepool.”
"Critically, I will ensure the proper Brexit that seven out of ten people voted for, is delivered.
“I'm really looking forward to the campaign, meeting as many people as possible, and showing I am fully committed to this town and its future.”Mr Tice replaces former Hartlepool United chairman Ken Hodcroft who had been announced as the party’s Hartlepool candidate in August.
But the timing of the snap election for Thursday, December 12, is said to have clashed with his business commitments and Mr Tice stepped in.Mr Hodcroft said: “My growing business concerns and the timing of this election have meant I cannot give the level of commitment that Hartlepool needs.
“However, I am delighted that Richard is picking up the baton and I know that – with him as the MP and the local Council controlled by The Brexit Party – Hartlepool will have the finest representation available.”
Mr Tice accused Labour of letting the town down and said it has voted to frustrate the Brexit process.
Hartlepool has been held by Labour since 1964. Current MP Mike Hill was voted in with a majority of 7,650 in 2017.
But in September this year, The Brexit Party took control of Hartlepool Borough Council in a coalition with three local Conservatives.
And in May’s European elections, the party had the largest share of the vote in Hartlepool.
Mr Tice added: “We’re definitely getting a sense that the Labour party just hasn’t made things happen.”
And regarding Brexit he added: “People are frustrated like me.”
Councillor Shane Moore, leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “I’m delighted that Richard is standing here.
“We finally have an incredibly strong business-minded candidate who can help drive the town forward.”
Among the supporters at the announcement in The Cosmopolitan pub on the Headland was Glynis Jones, who lives in the town.
Mrs Jones said: “I voted Conservative last time thinking Theresa God bless her May was going to get us out but she didn’t.
“So this time it’s The Brexit Party.”
Mr Tice will be up against sitting Labour MP Mike Hill and Andy Hagon for the Liberal Democrats.
No other parties have announced any candidates as yet.