Richard Tice ‘actively considering’ Reform UK run in Hartlepool by-election

Richard Tice says he is considering standing in Hartlepool

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The British businessman stood in the Red Wall seat for the Brexit Party at the 2019 General Election and finished behind both Labour and the Conservatives in third place. The seat is now up for grabs once again after Labour’s incumbent MP Mike Hill resigned on Tuesday amid sexual harassment allegations. The Reform UK leader, and close ally of Nigel Farage, has since revealed he is now eyeing a second run at winning Hartlepool.

The Brexiteer told LBC: “Obviously I think Reform UK should win the by-election in Hartlepool and let’s wait and see,” the party leader said.

“To answer your question Iain, yes, I am actively considering whether I should stand or whether some of our other Reform UK supporters and people should stand.

“So that’s under consideration at the moment, let’s wait and see.

“I’m not going to reveal exclusively, or whatever you might like me to do, on this show.”

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The battle for the Labour stronghold will be Sir Keir Starmer’s first electoral test as leader of the party.

Labour have a fight on their hands to hold the constituency given Mr Hill only barely able to hold on during the 2019 elections, with his majority whittled down to 3,600 with 15,464 votes.

Tory candidate Stefan Houghton came second with 11,869 votes, and the Brexit Party’s Richard Tice came third with 10,603.

The slim margins involved means the Conservative and Reform (formerly Brexit) parties both fancy their chances at heading to Labour woes in the North East.

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At the European Elections of 2019, the Brexit Party did manage to find success in Hartlepool topping the poll by a substantial lead.

Mr Tice will be hoping that Reform UK can build on the European election results in a staunchly pro-Brexit area that voted by 70 per cent to leave the EU.

However, Labour does not plan to give up Hartlepool easily, a set the party has held for nearly 50 years since 1974.

Hartlepool’s constituency Labour Party is busy selecting a candidate and saying they would have someone in place “quickly”.

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They said: “Over the past 10 years Hartlepool has been battered by the Tories down in Westminster.

“The local Tories focus on Middlesbrough and Stockton and Hartlepool is left out.”

“We want to see new good jobs, the services people need right here, and a thriving town centre when people get back to the shops again.

“We need a Labour MP who will stand up to the Tories after a decade of neglect.”

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