Labour will give power to the workers Ken Loach says at Hartlepool screening

Film director and Labour activist Ken Loach says that the Brexit Party has ‘no policies’ and it would be ‘a disaster’ if Hartlepool was elect a Brexit MP.

Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 1:22 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 6:30 pm
Director Ken Loach, left, and writer Paul Laverty were in Hartlepool for a screening of their film Sorry We Missed You.

The director was speaking at a screening of his film, Sorry We Missed You, at the Golden Lion pub on Dunston Road. Also attending were the film’s writer, Paul Laverty and Hartlepool MP Mike Hill.

It tells the story of a North East family whose parents both work zero-hours contracts, consequently making them part of the “working poor”.

It had already been on general release in cinemas, but Loach and Laverty are now taking it round the country for community screenings.

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Loach told the Mail: “It means the people whose story it is can actually come along and see it.

“It’s a great way to spread cinema to people who wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to see the film.

“It’s a subject that’s at the centre of the election; or should be. Labour is saying they’ll give everyone trade union rights, end zero-hours contracts and also deal with bogus self-employment.

“Ricky (the main character) is just a driver for a delivery company. But he’s hired as though he’s an entrepreneur, which of course is a complete fraud. So he has no holiday pay, no sick pay and he’s very vulnerable.

“It’s an issue that Labour is putting at the centre; although you wouldn’t know it from some of the press.

“In the film you see that all the power is with the people who are hiring. It’s a very political subject and Labour is saying they will change that in favour of the people doing the work.”

Although Mike Hill is favourite to retain Hartlepool for Labour, the Brexit Party is targeting the town which voted 69.6% leave in the EU referendum. Some commentators think Brexit’s candidate, Richard Tice, could win on December 12.

Loach said: “This is what the press say. I think it would be a disaster for any constituency that returns a Brexit candidate because they have no policies.

“What we know they would do is be very close to Trump; and that would be a disaster for working class people.”

But Richard Tice, who is also the Brexit Party’s chairman, has hit back.

He said: “Seven out of 10 people in Hartlepool voted to leave and the democratic will of Hartlepool voters must be carried out.

“We have a long contract with the people on policies which would centre on investing in regions like the North East, that have been left behind and let down by both Labour and the Conservatives.”

The full list of candidates for Hartlepool in the general election on December 12 are Joe Bousfield (Independent), Kevin Cranney (Socialist Labour Party), Andy Hagon (Liberal Democrats), Mike Hill (Labour), Stefan Richard Houghton (Conservative) and Richard Tice (Brexit Party).