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Brexit Party pact with Tories at Hartlepool council is a 'canary in the mine shaft moment' for Labour

LABOUR has been warned it must “deliver on Brexit ” after a coalition of Brexit Party and Tory councillors took over the leadership of a council in north-east England.

Last night 10 Independent Unionist councillors on Hartlepool Borough Council joined the Brexit Party and formed a coalition with four Tory councillors.

With 14 councillors they are now the biggest single group on the 33-seat council and automatically take over leadership, albeit as a minority group.

Crowing about the coup, Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice said: “Regardless of the shenanigans in Westminster, Brexiteers in the north-east are pushing to take back control so they can respect the Brexit vote.”

Paul O’Connell of the left-wing campaign group Leave — Fight — Transform (LeFT): “The defection of several councillors to the Brexit Party in Hartlepool, a constituency that voted overwhelmingly to leave in the 2016 referendum, provides a warning for the left in the UK.

“If Labour fails to take the lead on delivering Brexit in the interests of working people, it will abandon working-class communities to the easy answers of the Brexit Party, and their natural allies in a Johnson-led Tory Party.

“The defections in Hartlepool can be a canary in the mine shaft moment: Labour needs to pause, take stock, and understand that to win at the next general election, and deliver a transformative social agenda, they have to also deliver on the Brexit vote, otherwise they will hand the next decade to the right.”

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