Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin backs Hartlepool Brexit Party candidate Richard Tice on General Election campaign visit to town

Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin has lent his support to the Hartlepool Brexit Party candidate Richard Tice in the forthcoming General Election.

Wednesday, 27th November 2019, 5:36 pm

Tim Martin, the founder and chairman of Wetherspoons pubs, paid a visit to one of his pubs in Hartlepool on Tuesday, November 26, where he met with Mr Tice, the chairman of the Brexit Party, to discuss all things Brexit.

The Mail went along and spoke to both men.

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Wetherspoons pubs owner Tim Martin meets up with Brexit Party Parliamentary candidate for Hartlepool Richard Tice (right) in Ward Jackson pub.

Mail: You both have long been a big supporter of Brexit. What do you think are the benefits of leaving the EU for the town of Hartlepool and its people?

Richard Tice (RT): “Seven out of 10 people in Hartlepool voted for Brexit and, like me, they are frustrated and angry that their vote hasn’t been listened to – when actually the Government promised that it would carry out the will of the people.

“Brexiteers in Hartlepool know that there are huge opportunities that would come from Brexit.

“Here on the coast for example, we will be able to take back control of fishing waters, every job at sea, seven or eight jobs on land.

Wetherspoons pubs owner Tim Martin meets up with Brexit Party Parliamentary candidate for Hartlepool Richard Tice (left) in Ward Jackson pub.

“Just imagine if the harbour here was filled with British built fishing boats again, that is a huge opportunity for Hartlepool.

“We known that there is huge opportunity to invest in the regions.

“We need to protect crucial strategic industries such as steel and defence, ship building, railways, some of the industries that historically Hartlepool have benefited from enormously.

“There are huge opportunities.

Wetherspoon pubs owner Tim Martin .

“As a nation we have always welcomed sensible levels of immigration, but when you have uncontrolled, unlimited immigration, that actually serves to reduce wages.

“People know there are huge opportunities from Brexit, but they want it done, delivered and trust in politics to be restored.”

Tim Martin (TM): “Prices in the shops will come down if we end the (EU) tariffs (on goods).

“I think that is a big advantage of leaving – leaving the protectionist EU and bring down the prices in the shops.”

Wetherspoon pubs owner Tim Martin meets up with Brexit Party Parliamentary candidate for Hartlepool Richard Tice (right) in Ward Jackson pub.

Mail: Hartlepool voted for Brexit in the EU Referendum and the Brexit Party runs the local council in coalition with others - but Hartlepool has been a Labour seat for many years and its majority increased in 2017. What makes you think people will vote for the Brexit Party at a General Election?

TM: “The question asked in the referendum was; ‘do you want to leave or do you want to stay?’

“There was an election a couple of years later and both main political parties promised to honour the referendum but the people of Hartlepool may have noticed that we haven’t actually left.

“It is a betrayal of what was happening, and it is very important that you elect MPs that will really try to leave.”

Mail: The Brexit Party is running a high profile campaign in Hartlepool, with the party chairman standing for MP and high profile visits from the likes of Nigel Farage. Is Hartlepool the party's No1 target seat?

RT: “Hartlepool is one of a number of key target seats.

“The Brexit party already controls and leads the council here, they are doing a great job, I know that if I am elected as MP we could work really closely together.”

Mail: What has been the response of people you've spoken to in Hartlepool?

RT: “People feel that sense of frustration and anger.

“Since we launched the Brexit Party back in April we have turned that frustration and anger into hope.

“Hartlepool is one of the biggest supporters of the Brexit party during the European Elections, that support is carrying through, we are getting a great response.

“We have a fantastic opportunity to win here in Hartlepool here on December 12.

"I'm standing on three key pledges - a proper Brexit, because that is what we voted for, secondly I am going to bring money into Hartlepool and thirdly I am going to bring jobs into Hartlepool."

Mail: What is going to happen on election night - both in Hartlepool and nationally?

RT: "It is going to be very exciting, we are going to be nervous.

"We will hope and pray that we will win.

"I think it will be close, every vote is going to count."

TM: "The people of Hartlepool have the chance to vote for someone like Richard who has done more than any other person - with the exception of two or three others - to ensure that Brexit actually happens, both to win the referendum and to make sure Brexit happens."