UKIP’s leader is urging the North-East to “vote for change” as he kicks off his party’s campaign trail in the region ahead of the General Election.

Paul Nuttall took to the streets of Hartlepool on Saturday to speak to voters in an early bid to swing the constituency from Labour to UKIP.

Dozens of UKIP supporters gathered outside The Cosmopolitan pub to welcome Mr Nuttall to Hartlepool, however his arrival was delayed after a fight broke out between two women.

Cleveland Police arrested a 28-year-old woman and a 62-year-old woman following the incident at 11.05am after the pair began brawling in the street.

The 28-year-old from Hartlepool was waiting on Durham Street for Mr Nuttall to arrive with a small group of pro-EU campaigners and the 62-year-old, also from Hartlepool, claimed she was not linked to any political parties.

Mr Nuttall had been expected to announce he would stand in Hartlepool for the General Election during his visit to the region, however he has since confirmed that he will run for MP in Boston and Skegness.

Speaking to The Northern Echo, Mr Nuttall said: “We’re fighting a by-election here on May 4 and we’re confident that we will win and that will take our number on Hartlepool council up to seven.

“Obviously, for Hartlepool, beyond May 4, it will be a target seat for UKIP in the General Election considering it will only take a four per cent swing for UKIP to take the seat.”

The Northern Echo:

UKIP's leader, Paul Nuttall, campaigning with Hartlepool UKIP candidate, Tom Cassidy. Picture: STUART BOULTON

He added: “What we can do is bring a breath of fresh air. We can campaign hard to ensure that Theresa May doesn’t backslide on our fisheries to ensure that the fishing industry returns to Hartlepool in a big way.

“Of course, we connect with the people of Hartlepool on Brexit, as I’ve said 70 per cent of people voted to leave the EU.

“On national issues I’m sure everyone is on our side – cutting the foreign aid budget, ensuring our money is spent on our own people, cutting immigration back to sensible levels.”