A LABOUR MP has responded after a North-East council went into the leadership of The Brexit Party last night. 

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill, who was elected to represent Hartlepool in 2017 securing 52.5 percent of the vote, said he was "astonished" following a move from ten independent councillors, and three Conservative councillors to form a Pro-Brexit coalition.

Speaking to The Northern Echo, Mr Hill said: "I just find it astonishing that a good number of Councillors will have changed party at least three times in the last couple of years - from UKIP to Independent Union and now the Brexit Party.

"It truly is a Chameleon Council and the local electorate must be thinking what the hell is going on and what happened to their vote.

"Most people will see this move to be pure opportunism and jumping on the Farage bandwagon - nothing to do with running the Council, looking after the people and providing the kind of services they should be focused on.

"The fact that the Tories continue to remain coalition partners on the Council also puts pay to Boris Johnson’s claim that the Tories would never get into bed with the Brexit Party in a General Election.

"Of course they would, and this is a perfect example of that. The people of Hartlepool rightly will feel cheated'."

On Thursday, independent councillor Tom Cassidy, who joined The Brexit Party, said: "Local Labour MP Mike Hill no longer represents the people of Hartlepool.

"With The Brexit Party now in full swing, he and his Labour's colleagues days are now numbered."

The Northern Echo:

Lauren Dingsdale, Labour's prospective parliamentary candidate for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said the announcement highlighted the "real problem" with choosing to vote independently.

She said: "This shows the real problem with voting independent. Unless you personally know the candidate and their political views, you have no idea where they sit on the on political spectrum.

"I feel for those in Hartlepool who voted independent and have now got Brexit Party councillors. The decent thing to do now would be call by-elections - but I’m not holding my breath."