The man who came second in the last general election in Hartlepool returned to town to officially launch his bid to become UKIP’s next leader.
Phillip Broughton set out his vision for the party’s future in a campaign speech at the Best Western Grand Hotel.
I have the experience and qualities that this party needs right nowPhillip Broughton
The 32-year-old Tesco supervisor is one of six candidates hoping to fill Nigel Farage’s shoes after his resignation following the EU referendum.
And Mr Broughton announced he is setting his sights again on becoming the party’s Hartlepool parliamentary candidate in the next general election.
He said: “Today I launch my campaign to be the next leader of UKIP. I want to make it clear today that my number one priority whether I win this leadership contest or not will always be Hartlepool.
“And it is my intention not only to be the candidate at the next general election in Hartlepool but to win this seat at the next general election.”
The Tesco checkout supervisor and wrestling promoter, set out his plans for the party after Nigel Farage and Brexit.
He paid tribute to Mr Farage but said UKIP could no longer be seen as a “one man band” or single issue party anymore.
He said the party needed to change its tone and build a team in order to convert Labour and Tory supporters.
Under his campaign slogan Freedom, Fairness, Opportunity, Mr Broughton spelled out his policies for the economy, immigration, the NHS, armed forces and taxation.
He said: “I want us to be the party of real change. I’m standing because I’m passionate about politics, I’m passionate about this party UKIP and I’m passionate about the future of our country.
“I’m a real person. I’m young, I’m passionate, I’m northern and I’m working class. I know what it’s like to do a real job in the real world.”
Mr Broughton came second behind Labour’s Iain Wright in last year’s general election polling 11,052 votes.
And he said there were another 119 seats around the country the party could win saying “the campaign doesn’t start in four years, it starts now.”
Under his leadership, he said UKIP would bring in a £5 membership fee to build a “people’s army” and stand for smaller government with lower taxes, a free market economy and stronger border controls.
He added: “I have the experience and qualities that this party needs right now.
“Our party has been through open faction warfare, we’ve got to stop the infighting.
“We’ve got to stop fighting each other and start fighting the real enemy which is Labour and the Conservatives.”