Reform UK leader Richard Tice thinking of running for Hartlepool MP again in town by-election
The leader of political party Reform UK says he is considering standing for MP for Hartlepool in the upcoming by-election.
Richard Tice previously ran for office in the 2019 General Election for The Brexit Party, coming third behind Labour and the Conservatives.
On a visit to Hartlepool on Wednesday, March 24, he said he is weighing up whether to stand again for Reform UK, the new name of The Brexit Party.
A by-election is to take place following the shock resignation of Labour’s Mike Hill on March 16.
Mr Tice said: “It was great to be back. It was my second visit to the town since the General Election.
"I’m considering whether I should stand or whether a fantastic local candidate will stand.
"We will be confirming that at some point next week.”
In December 2019, Mr Tice received 10,603 votes for The Brexit Party.
The Conservatives came second with 11,869.
The by-election is being seen as the first big test for Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.
Following Mr Hill’s resignation, Labour quickly named local NHS GP Doctor Paul Williams as their chosen candidate.
But Mr Tice says the party has chosen unwisely given Dr Williams’ previous anti-Brexit stance.
The Reform UK leader said: “This is a big moment for the Hartlepool voice to be heard in Westminster.
"Hartlepool was the biggest Brexit vote in the country and what do Labour do? They have selected a Remainer who wanted a second vote.
"Labour haven’t learned the lesson.”
He also urged voters not to vote for the Conservatives, saying it would only increase Boris Johnson’s majority.
Mr Tice added: “If Hartlepool elects a Reform UK MP it will be our first MP and a strong voice in Westminster.
"They would have a real impact and signal that things are going to change.”
The by-election is expected to take place on Thursday, May 6, the same day as the Hartlepool Borough Council local elections and also Tees Valley Mayor and Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner.
Mr Hill, who was first elected as town MP in 2017, retained his seat in 2019 with a reduced 3,595 majority.