Nigel Farage in Hartlepool: 'My Brexit message to the town'
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage urged people to head to the polls and vote in this month's European elections on a visit to Hartlepool.
Mr Farage spoke to residents, business operators and local councillors when his Brexit Party bus rolled into town and stopped off at Hartlepool marina on Saturday morning.
He was in the North East campaigning with Brexit Party MEP candidates which also saw him visit Sunderland ahead of a party rally on Wearside.
Mr Farage told the Mail: "This is the iconic Leave area, people voted Leave and they meant it.
"Here we are three years on with a Labour and the Conservative party not delivering it. I formed the Brexit Party and my message to people in Hartlepool today is stand up on May 23 and tell our politicians they must not walk all over us.
"We're supposed to be a democratic country."
In 2016, Hartlepool voted to leave the EU by 69.6%, one of the highest results in the country.
Mr Farage predicted his party, formed just a few weeks ago, will do well in the European Parliament elections.
He added: "I want Brexit. That means not being in the customs union, not being in the single market, not being governed by any foreign courts and the sooner we get Brexit done the better and we can get on with the rest of our lives."
From a Hartlepool perspective he added: "200 miles of that sea would be ours. Just think how many men would be working in these harbours if we got that."
The Brexit Party is putting up around 70 candidates in England, Scotland and Wales.
Candidates in the North East include Hartlepool Independent Union Councillor John Tennant, Richard Monaghan and Brian Monteith.
Mr Farage added: "For the Brexit Party this is the first step. Just leaving the European Union is not enough. The two party system isn't working and we're going to try and change politics for good by breaking the two party system.
"It's a very ambitious thing I'm attempting but gosh someone's got to do something."
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Mr Farage also went aboard former Dunkirk ship Coronia which saved 900 troops in the Second World War and is now being restored at the marina by Graham Beesley and Pauline Field.
Pauline, a Leave supporter, said: "He was very polite and nice. This year was the first time I never voted because I can't say any politician is any good."
Hartlepool comedian Danny Posthill, a finalist in Britain's Got Talent in 2015, went to meet Mr Farage.
He said: "I've met Nigel a couple of times. He's a great guy. Politicians are betraying the will of the people with all the party politics and I think people are getting sick of it."
Councillor Tennant said he was standing to uphold the will of Leave voters and said people who voted to remain should also vote for the Brexit Party to help deliver it and get on with other things.
He said: "I have campaigned for so long for Britain to leave the EU. We had a referendum and won and we thought it was job done.
"Three years on we are taking part in European elections. just can't sit back and do nothing about it.
"If we do win a lot of seats in these elections not only does it send a strong message to the politicians in Westminster who have failed to uphold democracy it also means the Brexit Party would be a big factor in the negotiations."
Also contesting the MEP elections for the North East are:
* Change UK - The Independent Group: Frances Helena Weetman Penny Hawley Kathryn Louise Heywood;
* Conservative and Unionist Party: Richard Marshall Alexander Robert Lawrie, Chris J Galley, Duncan Carlyle Crute;
* Green Party: Rachel Sara Featherstone Jonathan Elmer Dawn Furness;
* Labour Party: Jude Kirton-Darling Paul Brannen Clare Penny-Evans;
* Liberal Democrats: Fiona Jane Hall Julie Pörksen Aidan John King;
* UK Independence Party (UKIP) UKIP Make Brexit Happen: Richard Elvin, Christopher Arthur, Gallacher Alan Breeze.