Descendant of man who built West Hartlepool joins by-election election race as independent candidate

A descendant of the founder of modern Hartlepool is to stand as an independent candidate in the forthcoming parliamentary by-election.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 5:58 pm

Businessman Ralph Ward-Jackson, named after his famous ancestor, says Hartlepool has been ignored for too long by the Conservatives and Labour

He said: “I am not a professional politician but a businessman, harbour no grand political ambitions and only want what is best for this proud town which has been disgracefully ignored for too long by both main parties.

“Both the main party candidates are ambitious professional politicians at the beck and call of London HQs.

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Ralph Ward-Jackson with the statue of his ancestor in Church Street, Hartlepool.
Ralph Ward-Jackson with the statue of his ancestor in Church Street, Hartlepool.

"The Labour candidate was rejected by the voters in a previous constituency for actively undermining their will after the Brexit referendum.

"The Conservative candidate gives every impression of never even having visited Hartlepool prior to selection, and indeed of having unexpectedly landed on Mars.

“Both candidates symbolise what is wrong with our broken political system, and I am unpersuaded that if elected either of them would be an effective or committed voice for Hartlepool in London and regionally.”

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Businessman Ralph Ward-Jackson.

Mr Ward-Jackson, who is the great-nephew of his namesake and is based in London, said it was outrageous that Hartlepool as a town of over 90,000 people does not have a fully-functioning hospital saying: “Currently trauma cases are having to be transported 35 minutes in a blue-lit ambulance.”

He also spoke out against the closures of the town’s magistrates court and 24-hour police custody suite saying they mean a waste of police officers’ time having to attend the nearest alternatives in Middlesbrough.

He added: “Without safe streets and basic infrastructure, companies will simply not invest in Hartlepool, and much-needed jobs will not be created, which surely must be the number one priority.”

In the 2019 General Election, Mr Ward-Jackson tried to stand for MP with the Brexit Party but was unsuccessful.

His ancestor Ralph Ward Jackson (1806-1880) is known as the man who built West Hartleool.

The by-election will be held on Thursday, May 6, and has been triggered by the sudden resignation of town Labour MP Mike Hill after four years.

The deadline for candidate nominations closed at 4pm on Thursday, April 8, and the full list of those standing is due to be announced in the next day.

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