Why by-election candidate says 'Hartlepool people are not daft'

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The Northern Independence Party candidate in the Hartlepool by-election has said residents in the town are “not daft” and pledged to help secure more investment in the area.

Ms Walker said she wants to disprove the idea “all politicians are the same” and is determined to help bring more funding to Hartlepool.

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She added that, although she is not from Hartlepool, she loves the area and is passionate about improving its infrastructure.

Northern Independence Party candidate Thelma Walker.Northern Independence Party candidate Thelma Walker.
Northern Independence Party candidate Thelma Walker.

She said: “I know there is a lot of distrust in politicians at the moment, I think there’s a lot of people that say they’re all the same.

“Hartlepool people are not daft, and I’m not going to pretend for a moment, I never have as a politician.

“I’m not pretending to be a local, but I am northern through and through, and I do know what the issues are. I know the impact of poverty.”

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A former headteacher, she stressed she was “not doing this for a career” and wants to see more investment in Hartlepool and its young people.

Hartlepool goes to the polls to elect a new MP on May 6.Hartlepool goes to the polls to elect a new MP on May 6.
Hartlepool goes to the polls to elect a new MP on May 6.

She said: “For many, many years the north has done the graft and the finance and the profit from it has gone down to Westminster.

“The crumbs from the Westminster table really, is what we seem to get.

“I see that a lot of younger people are leaving the area to get the higher paid higher skilled jobs, but they love where they were born, and that shouldn’t be necessary.”

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So far she has visited the likes of Hartlepool WASPI, The Annexe and St Aidan’s Food Kitchen.

Ms Walker was formerly Labour MP for Colne Valley, in Yorkshire, from 2017 to 2019 and said she would use her past experience to “hit the ground running” if elected.

She said she supports environmentally friendly industries and has called on the Government to provide support to Hartlepool’s Liberty Steel to help protect jobs.

She said: “I think there needs to be massive Government investment in that and I think we’ve got to look at what is sustainable.”

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Ms Walker will be on the election ballot as an “independent” candidate as the NIP were not registered with the Electoral Commision in time for the by-election.

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The full list of 16 candidates in the May 2021 Hartlepool by-election

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